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

Examples of vandalism in a Sentence

acts of theft and vandalism He was arrested for vandalism.
Recent Examples on the Web California Zip ties, guns and a rope: New details emerge on Newport Beach home invasion April 19, 2024 King was charged last week with seven counts of vandalism. Salvador Hernandez, Los Angeles Times, 30 May 2024 The couple asked that their names and the name of their store be omitted out of fear that speaking up about the night would prompt vandalism at their business. Lauren J. Mapp, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 May 2024 Throughout the decade of vandalism, no injuries were reported, Lieutenant Jake Bushey of the Azusa Police Department told the San Gabriel Valley Tribune. Bailey Richards, Peoplemag, 26 May 2024 Some commenters took that to mean the image depicts acts of vandalism that occurred during campus protests of the Israel-Hamas war. Joedy McCreary, USA TODAY, 13 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for vandalism 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'vandalism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 14 Jun. 2024.

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

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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