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

Keep scrolling for more

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

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 And the same study revealed that 66 percent of the students who took the course improved their responses to questions that related to stigmatizing attitudes about mental disorders. Janelle Richards, NBC News, "How one family is educating students, teachers on mental health," 24 Apr. 2018 So it’s one thing for Jordan to stigmatize the tactics of Parker Coie and sully their name with conservative bromides. Chad Pergram, Fox News, "Jim Jordan, facing accusations of ignoring sexual abuse, faces political crisis," 7 July 2018 While borderline personality remains highly stigmatized and often misunderstood, recent cultural conversations around it have helped increase awareness of the disorder. Katie Heaney, The Cut, "My Life With Borderline Personality Disorder," 13 June 2018 There’s no excuse here, and blaming Kanye’s ideas on his mental health is both insulting and stigmatizing. Lara Witt, Teen Vogue, "Kanye West's Tweets Aren't a Symptom of Mental Illness," 27 Apr. 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.

See More

First Known Use of stigmatize

1585, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about stigmatize

Share stigmatize

Statistics for stigmatize

Last Updated

8 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for stigmatize

The first known use of stigmatize was in 1585

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on stigmatize

What made you want to look up stigmatize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


one that holds something together

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Roman Mythology Quiz

  • the-triumph-of-venus-by-alessandro-magnasco
  • Boreal comes from the name of the ancient Greek god of which wind?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!