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 Some of this is surely due to the universality of self-doubt: his loneliness and isolation, his fear of being stigmatized or unloved, still resonates. Jeremy Lybarger, The New Yorker, "Lou Sullivan’s Diaries Are a Radical Testament to Trans Happiness," 16 Sep. 2019 Rhetoric that suggests those with a mental illness are violent not only stigmatizes them, but can prevent people from getting needed treatment, the American Psychiatric Association said in a statement. Jessica Seaman, The Denver Post, "Coloradans living with mental illness say comments after El Paso, Dayton mass shootings further stigmatize," 8 Aug. 2019 Mack Wrestles, co-directed by Taylor Hess and Erin Sanger, takes the audience behind the scenes as this gifted athlete from Euless, Texas, struggles against the outside forces that stigmatize transgender athletes. NBC News, "The Kids Are Alright: Meet the Press Film Festival with AFI," 6 Sep. 2019 Those of us displaced by automation will need another word, one that history has not stigmatized. Marilynne Robinson, Harper's magazine, "Is Poverty Necessary?," 10 June 2019 Alanis Morissette is trying to de-stigmatize breastfeeding. Georgia Slater,, "Alanis Morissette Shares Breastfeeding Photo of Her Newborn Son: It's 'Not Always Easy Peasy'," 17 Aug. 2019 In the past 50 years, Americans have moved from stigmatizing homosexuality to tolerating or even celebrating it. Spencer A. Klavan, The Atlantic, "Games Boys Play," 16 Aug. 2019 Often stigmatized, many intersex people are subject to violations of their human rights. Suyin Haynes, Time, "New Documentary Explores the Realities of Being an Intersex Person and Their Treatment By Society," 19 June 2019 After the French Revolution, Sparta became stigmatized as the favorite city of illiberals, and Athens became the ancient republic par excellence. Nick Burns, The New Republic, "In Defense of Sparta," 7 Aug. 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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Statistics for stigmatize

Last Updated

22 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for stigmatize

The first known use of stigmatize was in 1585

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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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a calculated move

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