(Latin: originally, wanderer; then destroyer; destroy, deface, harm)

Of Teutonic origin, now used in the sense of "acting barbarously" or "destroying".
vandal (s), vandals (pl) (noun forms)
1. Someone who willfully or maliciously defaces or destroys public or private property.
2. Anyone who willfully or ignorantly destroys or mars something beautiful or valuable.

Although the Vandals did their share of raiding and plundering, they don't seem to have engaged in trashing and plundering as indicated by the modern usage of vandal.

The Vandals did acquire a reputation for their name to be used as a lower-cased term meaning, "anyone who willfully or maliciously defaces or destroys public or private property".

There does not seem to be in the story of the capture of Rome by the Vandals any justification for the charge of willful and objectless destruction of public buildings which is implied in the word "vandalism".

It is probable that this charge grew out of the fierce persecution which was carried on by [the Vandal king] Gaiseric and his son against the Catholic Christians, and which is the darkest stain on their characters.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 13th Ed., 1926.
Vandal (s), Vandals (pl) (noun forms)
1. Originally, Vandal was the name for a member of a Germanic people who conquered Gaul, Spain, and North Africa in the fourth and fifth centuries A.D.; then in 455 A.D., they sacked Rome.

The English word Vandal or vandal comes from the Latin form, Vandalus which in Germanic was Wandal.

2. Etymology: from Latin, Vandalus (s), Vandali (pl); a name of Teutonic origin; probably literally meaning "wanderers" and related to German wandeln, "to wander".
Vandalic, vandalic (adjective)
1. When capitalized, it refers to, or is characteristic of the Vandals in historyi.
2. When the term is in the lower case (not capitalized), it indicates vandalism or the malicious and deliberate defacement or destruction of private and/or public property.
vandalism (s), vandalisms (pl) (noun)
1. The willful desire to cause harm or destruction to public and private property: "They were arrested for being involved in vandalism."
2. Deliberately mischievous or malicious destruction or damage of property: "It is easy to see the vandalism to public buildings that is done by those who want to cause damage and destruction."
3. The willful or ignorant destruction of artistic or literary treasures: "Someone broke into the art exhibition and did extensive vandalism to many of the objects that were there."

Vandalism includes behavior; such as, breaking windows, slashing tires, spray painting a wall with graffiti, and destroying a computer system through the use of a computer virus.

Because the destruction of public and private property poses a threat to society, modern law statutes make vandalism a crime.

The penalties upon conviction may be a fine, a jail sentence, an order to pay for repairs or replacement; or all three of these could be imposed.

vandalist (s), vandalists (pl) (noun forms)
Anyone who goes around with the intention of maliciously destroying property: "The police are looking for the vandalists who broke into the house and tore the place apart."
vandalistic (adjective)
A reference to or relating to vandalism, which is the willful or malicious destruction or defacement of public or private property.
vandalize (verb), vandalizes; vandalized; vandalizing
To deliberately destroy, ruin, or to deface property, either private or public: Their car was vandalized and damaged when it was parked in the street.

The school was broken into by some hooligans who vandalized the walls in the halls and classrooms, and even caused destruction in the secretary's office and in the library.

Pointing to a page about the Vandals More historical information about the Vandals.