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 stigmatization (audio) \ noun

Examples of stigmatize in a Sentence

a legal system that stigmatizes juveniles as criminals
Recent Examples on the Web That is far from the case in China, where drugs are heavily stigmatized, and trafficking marijuana can lead to a death sentence. Nikhil Sonnad, Quartz, "What China’s relationship to cannabis reveals about its economy," 23 Nov. 2019 Through their leadership, these CEOs, philanthropists, doctors, politicians, entrepreneurs, and dreamers are breaking the Southern belle stereotype that has stigmatized Alabama’s women for far too long. Sarah Cook, al, "Meet the 2019 Women Who Shape the State honorees," 28 Oct. 2019 Among those children is Stefan Hampel, who was diagnosed with a neurological disorder in fourth grade and was stigmatized for years. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan doctor accused of misdiagnosing children with epilepsy finally goes to trial," 23 Oct. 2019 Especially in China, where HIV/AIDS is highly stigmatized. Wired, "Chinese Scientists Try to Cure One Man's HIV With Crispr," 11 Sep. 2019 The resisters, who were stigmatized for decades as traitors, will be honored as pillars of the country’s modern democracy amid growing concerns about resurgence of the far-right. Fox News, "Germans who resisted Nazi regime honored on 75 anniversary of plot of kill Hitler," 20 July 2019 His escape plays as an ironic daydream of romantic transcendence, elevating him from the stigmatized to the sanctified. John Lahr, The New Yorker, "Todd Haynes Rewrites the Hollywood Playbook," 4 Nov. 2019 The neighborhood social network, Nextdoor, has become a forum to belittle and stigmatize the homeless, writes Rick Paulus at One Zero. Jeff John Roberts, Fortune, "No, Encryption Is Not About to Be ‘Backdoored’—Data Sheet," 1 Oct. 2019 That ethos has been the core of the NEST mission since its inception: Support babies and their parents in a way that is neither stigmatizing nor shaming. Alaska Regional Hospital, Anchorage Daily News, "Bringing babies in need home with NEST," 12 Sep. 2019

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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Time Traveler for stigmatize

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The first known use of stigmatize was in 1585

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Statistics for stigmatize

Last Updated

3 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Stigmatize.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 7 December 2019.

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More Definitions for stigmatize


How to pronounce stigmatize (audio)

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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