van·​dal·​ism | \ ˈvan-də-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce vandalism (audio) \

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 Arnold spoke out against the vandalism and emphasized the need for students to hold their peers accountable for maintaining a welcoming learning environment. Quinlan Bentley, The Enquirer, 16 Sep. 2021 Deputies were called to investigate the vandalism Sunday morning, and the damage was cleaned up later that day, said Paul Nichols, founder and CEO of Upstate Granite Solutions. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 14 Sep. 2021 The vandalism has left stones overturned and fragmented into dozens of pieces. Washington Post, 27 Aug. 2021 Local residents expressed outrage over the vandalism. Tara Wu, Smithsonian Magazine, 17 Aug. 2021 The vandalism was believed to have occurred overnight. cleveland, 1 Aug. 2021 The vandalism appears to have been committed on July 20 at 11 p.m. but police only obtained the video footage in recent days, McCracken said.. Steve Rubenstein, San Francisco Chronicle, 28 July 2021 There has also been some vandalism targeting churches and statues in cities., 30 June 2021 If caught, the charge could be either felony or misdemeanor vandalism, depending on the extent of the damage. Hayley Smith, Los Angeles Times, 3 Nov. 2020

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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Time Traveler for vandalism

Time Traveler

The first known use of vandalism was in 1798

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Dictionary Entries Near vandalism




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Statistics for vandalism

Last Updated

18 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Vandalism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce vandalism (audio) \

Kids Definition of vandalism

: intentional destruction of or damage to property


van·​dal·​ism | \ ˈvand-ᵊl-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce vandalism (audio) \

Legal Definition of vandalism

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

More from Merriam-Webster on vandalism

Nglish: Translation of vandalism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of vandalism for Arabic Speakers


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