van·​dal·​ism ˈvan-də-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce vandalism (audio)
: willful or malicious destruction or defacement of public or private property

Example Sentences

acts of theft and vandalism He was arrested for vandalism.
Recent Examples on the Web The vandalism at the Illinois cemetery comes as antisemitic incidents have been on the rise across the country. Julianne Mcshane, NBC News, 15 Nov. 2022 The vandalism is the second incident of hate speech targeting Jews in the county in three months. Katie Shepherd, Washington Post, 14 Nov. 2022 Community activists returned Friday to the site to decry the vandalism of the mural, which wraps around a shuttered building. La Risa R. Lynch, Journal Sentinel, 29 Oct. 2022 The cathedral’s spokesperson, Abbot Nicodemus, also confirmed the vandalism to CNN. Tom Goldstone, CNN, 1 Oct. 2022 The vandals have not yet been apprehended, and anyone with information on the vandalism was asked to call Selma police. Howard Koplowitz |, al, 27 Sep. 2022 The vandalism was reported at about 9 a.m. Sept. 14. Bob Sandrick, cleveland, 23 Sep. 2022 Locals and tourists came out to the monument to see the vandalism. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 23 Sep. 2022 The vandalism was believed to be a response to the previous arrest of a 17-year-old. Scott D. Pierce, The Salt Lake Tribune, 25 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vandalism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


vandal + -ism

First Known Use

1798, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of vandalism was in 1798

Dictionary Entries Near vandalism

Cite this Entry

“Vandalism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition



van·​dal·​ism ˈvan-dᵊl-ˌiz-əm How to pronounce vandalism (audio)
: intentional destruction or damage to property

Legal Definition



van·​dal·​ism ˈvand-ᵊl-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce vandalism (audio)
: the willful or malicious destruction or defacement of property
insurance covering property damage from vandalism and malicious mischief

More from Merriam-Webster on vandalism

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