stig·​ma·​tize | \ ˈstig-mə-ˌtīz How to pronounce stigmatize (audio) \
stigmatized; stigmatizing

Definition of stigmatize

transitive verb

1a : to describe or identify in opprobrious terms
b archaic : brand
2 : to mark with stigmata

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Other Words from stigmatize

stigmatization \ ˌstig-​mə-​tə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce stigmatize (audio) \ noun

Examples of stigmatize in a Sentence

a legal system that stigmatizes juveniles as criminals
Recent Examples on the Web But many leaders saw it as an effort to stigmatize the L.G.B.T. community and connect it to pedophilia and thus a violation of the European Union treaties protecting individual rights. New York Times, 25 June 2021 Bravo wanted to reflect how taxing the work actually is in a way that didn’t shame or stigmatize the people who do that work. New York Times, 16 June 2021 Trans rights advocates argue the bills are designed to foster a moral panic over trans people, and further stigmatize a community which already faces systemic discrimination. Madeleine Carlisle, Time, 10 June 2021 If that isn’t enough, there are issues within the community that stigmatize mental health due to religious beliefs, lack of information, criminalization, and medical mistrust. Emil Wilbekin, Town & Country, 2 June 2021 Brown has been an outspoken advocate for mental health awareness, particularly in communities of color, where cultural traditions sometimes stigmatize seeking mental health treatment. San Diego Union-Tribune, 21 May 2021 By moving words around, this description of the variant does not associate the variant with a region or stigmatize a group of people. Peter Suciu, Forbes, 26 May 2021 The negative health outcomes will also stigmatize those neighborhoods, so that becomes why there’s things like lower property values in those neighborhoods. Lisa Deaderick, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 May 2021 And one Republican, Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas, warned the administration over the weekend against trying to pressure or stigmatize that group. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 3 May 2021

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 1b

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The first known use of stigmatize was in 1585

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Last Updated

8 Jul 2021

Cite this Entry

“Stigmatize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Jul. 2021.

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More Definitions for stigmatize



English Language Learners Definition of stigmatize

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


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