van·dal·ism | \ˈvan-də-ˌli-zəm \

Definition of vandalism 

: willful or malicious destruction or defacement of public or private property

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Examples of vandalism in a Sentence

acts of theft and vandalism He was arrested for vandalism.

Recent Examples on the Web

Zoeller said given the location of the state Republican Party’s office, he’s seen minor vandalism before, such as stickers or posters stuck on windows and doors. Kaitlyn Schallhorn, Fox News, "Nebraska GOP office windows smashed by bricks, 'Abolish ICE' spray-painted outside," 3 July 2018 Citing Sunday night’s alleged vandalism, Cutler declined to say where those facilities are. Linda Trischitta,, "I ripped down anti-gun banner because I'm pro-gun: Accused Stoneman Douglas vandal," 27 Mar. 2018 Students in any district could be disciplined if the walkout becomes a disruption, and police could become involved if any criminal activity takes place, such as vandalism or destruction of property. Emma Kate Fittes, Indianapolis Star, "What students (and parents) should know before the National School Walkout March 14," 13 Mar. 2018 Hiram suggests the Serpents should be blamed for this act of vandalism. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "A War Is About to Break Out in Riverdale," 25 Jan. 2018 Under Promise, students who commit petty vandalism or theft, harassment, fight or other minor crimes or violations are referred to the off-campus program for two to 10 days. Nicole Darrah, Fox News, "Parkland shooting suspect's mom let him buy gun despite mental health counselors' pushback, official says," 10 July 2018 Under Promise, students who commit petty vandalism or theft, harassment, fight or other minor crimes or violations are referred to the off-campus program for two-to-10 days. Terry Spencer, The Seattle Times, "Official: Florida shooting suspect’s mom let him buy gun," 10 July 2018 The board of directors is to meet Tuesday at 7 p.m. in Lincoln Center to discuss a possible youth curfew to curb the widespread thefts and vandalism. Jesse Leavenworth, Courant Community, "Manchester Dem Chief Says GOP Official's Facebook Comment Racist; Calls For His Resignation," 9 July 2018 How nets are lost can vary dramatically in the same region, and depends on weather, sea conditions, vandalism or theft, or whether the fishery is operating illegally. National Geographic, "These Communities Turn Discarded Fishing Nets Into Carpets," 13 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of vandalism

1798, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vandalism

vandal + -ism

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Dictionary Entries near vandalism








Statistics for vandalism

Last Updated

14 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for vandalism

The first known use of vandalism was in 1798

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More Definitions for vandalism



English Language Learners Definition of vandalism

: the act of deliberately destroying or damaging property


van·dal·ism | \ˈvan-də-ˌli-zəm \

Kids Definition of vandalism

: intentional destruction of or damage to property


van·dal·ism | \ˈvand-ᵊl-ˌi-zəm \

Legal Definition of vandalism 

: the willful or malicious destruction or defacement of property insurance covering property damage from vandalism and malicious mischief

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Comments on vandalism

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not any or not one

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