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

But despite its wide reach, depression—as with many other mental health conditions—is often culturally stigmatized. Jennifer Lance, Glamour, "Kate Middleton's Brother James Wrote a Powerful Essay About Mental Health," 12 Jan. 2019 But there’s still time to arrest or reverse these trends and stigmatize the use of technology for oppressive purposes. Maya Wang, WSJ, "China’s Bumbling Police State," 26 Dec. 2018 Treating chronic medical conditions must not be stigmatized. Hannah Orenstein, Seventeen, ""The Fault In Our Stars" Author John Green Announces His First Novel in Six Years," 22 June 2017 They are rejected and stigmatized, while their attackers go unpunished. Sally Holmes, Marie Claire, "Angelina Jolie Is Fighting the Social Stigma Faced by Survivors of Sexual Violence," 4 Dec. 2018 Most likely, this trend will continue as marijuana becomes less stigmatized and more and more states vote to legalize the drug. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Teens are trying marijuana before alcohol and tobacco," 20 Nov. 2018 As an immigrant woman of color, any talk of mental health and proactive measures to find mental wellness in my community was stigmatized. Tasnim Ahmed, Allure, "I Bought Into the Commercialized Wellness Industry and It Left Me Broke (and Unwell)," 9 Aug. 2018 OUT News Abandoned by her family and stigmatized by society, Marvia Malik is now Pakistan’s first transgender news anchor. NBC News, "#Pride30: Trans TV anchor Marvia Malik challenges Pakistani culture from a news desk," 31 May 2018 Millennial pink, check; de-stigmatizing personal care products, check. Rachel Nussbaum, Glamour, "I Tried the Natural Deodorant With a 13,000-Person Waitlist," 13 Sep. 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

15 Jan 2019

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Time Traveler for stigmatize

The first known use of stigmatize was in 1585

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More Definitions for stigmatize



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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someone who never drinks alcohol

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