van·​dal·​ize | \ˈvan-də-ˌlīz \
vandalized; vandalizing

Definition of vandalize 

transitive verb

: to subject to vandalism : damage

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Other Words from vandalize

vandalization \ ˌvan-​də-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən \ noun

Synonyms for vandalize


deface, trash

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Examples of vandalize in a Sentence

Our car was vandalized in the parking lot. he decided to vandalize the store because the owner had kicked him out

Recent Examples on the Web

An Army veteran who lost his left arm and leg while serving in Iraq will have to wait a bit longer for a house that was being built especially for him -- because two teenagers vandalized the home under construction, officials said. Lucia I. Suarez Sang, Fox News, "Wounded veteran's home vandalized by teenagers: 'This incident is disheartening'," 27 Sep. 2018 But lacking American-style reverence for their founders, Canadians have allowed leftists to vandalize their historical memory. Elliot Kaufman, WSJ, "Toppling a Statue North of the Border," 13 Aug. 2018 But self-esteem boosts can sometimes have bizarre repercussions when teams win, and their fans celebrate by tearing down light poles, flipping cars, starting fires, and vandalizing their own city. Rachel Becker, The Verge, "How watching the World Cup final might affect your health," 14 July 2018 Vandalism 3600 block of Northwest 91st Lane in Sunrise, June 16, 11:36 a.m. The victim said someone vandalized his van by smashing the driver’s side window. Dan White,, "Plantation, Sunrise area crime reports," 12 July 2018 Latest Stories In recent days, protesters pillaged, burned and vandalized shops in Port-au-Prince. NBC News, "Strike shuts down Haiti capital after three days of protests," 9 July 2018 Many of the press secretary's supporters spent the weekend vandalizing the restaurant's page by leaving thousands of fraudulent one-star reviews. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "The Red Hen and the Weaponization of Yelp," 26 June 2018 The piece has been vandalized with paint three times since last year, when the debate over Confederate monuments first erupted. Phillip M. Bailey, The Courier-Journal, "John Castleman statue isn't a Confederate monument, Greg Fischer says," 3 July 2018 Prior to Game 1 of the 2017 Finals, James' home here in Los Angeles was vandalized with racist graffiti. Joe Vardon,, "LeBron James: 'I will not shut up and dribble' and says Fox's 'rap sheet' for racism not the best," 17 Feb. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vandalize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of vandalize

1832, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vandalize

vandal + -ize

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Statistics for vandalize

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vandalize

The first known use of vandalize was in 1832

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More Definitions for vandalize



English Language Learners Definition of vandalize

: to deliberately destroy or damage (property)


van·​dal·​ize | \ˈvan-də-ˌlīz \
vandalized; vandalizing

Kids Definition of vandalize

: to destroy or damage property on purpose


transitive verb
van·​dal·​ize | \ˈvand-ᵊl-ˌīz \
vandalized; vandalizing

Legal Definition of vandalize 

: to subject to vandalism

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Comments on vandalize

What made you want to look up vandalize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to clear from alleged fault or guilt

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