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From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Crime
vigilantevig‧i‧lan‧te /ˌvɪdʒəˈlænti/ noun [countable]  SSOSCCsomeone who illegally punishes criminals and tries to prevent crime, usually because they think the police are not doing this effectivelyvigilantism noun [uncountable]
Examples from the Corpus
vigilanteMost anywhere else, vigilante is a bad word.Many of the dead were said to be members of anti-guerrilla vigilante self-defence organisations.Three pickups appeared at one end of town like vigilantes out of the plains.In no other circumstances would she have tolerated militant vigilantes operating with impunity so far beyond their own domains.The original vigilantes are an example of people taking authority into their own hands when everything was unraveling.As such it means that vigilante heroes, nomatterhow good, are not the stuff of which Christians are made.The hesitancy of the vigilantes seemed only due now to mutual dislike, which would soon resolve itself one way or another.Bronson will return to the role of Paul Kersey to take on the Mafia in the latest sequel to the vigilante saga.
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