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 Messages that refer to the virus or disease in … ways that may stigmatize or stereotype a group of people, are subject to removal. Emma Silvers,, "Nextdoor is now the Bay Area stage where our hopes and fears about the coronavirus play out," 17 Apr. 2020 Thoelen told me that some commenters complained his post would lead to runners being stigmatized. Joe Lindsey, Outside Online, "Inside the Controversial 6-Foot Social-Distancing Study," 17 Apr. 2020 The cooking competition is structured around exploring and de-stigmatizing the many (delicious) uses for the once-taboo plant. Ashley J. Hobbs, Essence, "What Quarantine Life On The Farm Is Like For Kelis and Her Family," 15 May 2020 People who use drugs report feeling stigmatized, while providers including pharmacists may be uncomfortable starting a conversation with patients about the importance of carrying naloxone. Victoria Tutag Lehr, The Conversation, "Pharmacists could be front-line fighters in battle against opioid epidemic," 21 Apr. 2020 After the pandemic, people who recover from COVID-19 might be shunned and stigmatized, as were survivors of Ebola, SARS, and HIV. Ed Yong, The Atlantic, "How the Pandemic Will End," 25 Mar. 2020 Other people could stigmatize people who have dogs. Julia Hollingsworth, CNN, "Your beloved pet can't catch coronavirus. Here's why one dog tested positive," 2 Mar. 2020 Like some other families of people who died from COVID-19, the woman asked not to be named for fear of being stigmatized. Raquel Rutledge, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'It was beyond horrible': Families of coronavirus victims face the unthinkable -- saying goodbye over the phone or not at all," 10 Apr. 2020 Together these missions have ensured a crescendo of efforts to stigmatize or silence the organization and its affiliates in some fifty Russian cities. Benjamin Nathans, The New York Review of Books, "Profiles in Decency," 8 Apr. 2020

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of stigmatize was in 1585

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Cite this Entry

“Stigmatize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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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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