stig·​ma·​tize | \ˈstig-mə-ˌtīz \
stigmatized; stigmatizing

Definition of stigmatize 

transitive verb

1a archaic : brand

b : to describe or identify in opprobrious terms

2 : to mark with stigmata

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Other Words from stigmatize

stigmatization \ ˌstig-​mə-​tə-​ˈzā-​shən \ noun

Examples of stigmatize in a Sentence

a legal system that stigmatizes juveniles as criminals

Recent Examples on the Web

Work requirements represent a double standard, stigmatizing poor people since they are not attached to other government subsidies. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "GOP Tinkering With Medicaid Could Tempt Red States to Expand Coverage," 29 Jan. 2018 But being stigmatized for your drug use is a pretty universal experience. Marissa J. Lang, Washington Post, "‘I survived. I made it out’: She used to be addicted to crack cocaine. Now, she wants to help opioid abusers.," 10 May 2018 But what's really grabbing fans's attention is Tom's clear love of the pups, even though pit bulls as a breed have historically been stigmatized as supposedly being more dangerous and prone to attack than other dogs. Allie Gemmill, Teen Vogue, "Tom Holland Advocated for Pit Bulls in an Interview for "Avengers: Infinity War"," 30 Apr. 2018 It was written in outraged reaction to the conservative backlash that put Ronald Reagan in the White House and stigmatized AIDS as a divine punishment. Wendy Smith, miamiherald, "A full-bodied portrait of ‘Angels in America,’ a play redefined what theater could be | Miami Herald," 22 Feb. 2018 Not too long ago, Camila also took the time to draw attention to the important issue of stigmatizing eating disorders. Noelle Devoe, Seventeen, "Camila Mendes From "Riverdale" Opens About Struggling With an Eating Disorder," 3 July 2018 While the pharmaceutical industry and FDA are waiting for certain health issues to become de-stigmatized, people are developing eminently preventable cancers and dying from them. Ashley Andreou, STAT, "New Gardasil ad campaign gets it (mostly) right. It shouldn’t have taken a decade," 18 June 2018 Bono paid homage to the former first lady and applauded her role in helping to de-stigmatize AIDS, the report said. Amy Lieu, Fox News, "U2's Bono receives first George W. Bush Medal, pays tribute to late Barbara Bush," 20 Apr. 2018 Women who prefer to stay home with very young children are stigmatized as regressive and antifeminist. Erica Komisar, WSJ, "The Human Cost of Sweden’s Welfare State," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'stigmatize.' 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 stigmatize

1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Last Updated

5 Nov 2018

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Time Traveler for stigmatize

The first known use of stigmatize was in 1585

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English Language Learners Definition of stigmatize

: to describe or regard (something, such as a characteristic or group of people) in a way that shows strong disapproval

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