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

Exposed screws on micro-mobility vehicles can cause injuries and make vandalism easier. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, "Bird’s new electric scooter has a better battery and anti-vandalism sensors," 1 Aug. 2019 That vandalism set off days of vociferous denunciations from Chinese officials. Austin Ramzy, New York Times, "Hong Kong Protest: Clashes With Police Turn Downtown Into Tear Gas-Filled Battlefield," 28 July 2019 That vandalism set off days of vociferous denunciations from Chinese officials. Austin Ramzy,, "Clashes with police turn Hong Kong’s downtown into tear gas-filled battlefield," 28 July 2019 North Chicago is taking aim at graffiti by setting up a program that would let the city to remove paint vandalism on private property for free, its public works director said. Emily K. Coleman, Lake County News-Sun, "North Chicago creates beautification program to help property owners remove graffiti," 11 June 2019 In reality, the impacts of our vandalism or thoughtlessness can remain in out-of-sight lands or immense garbage patches in our oceans, or be borne in the future. Julian Ch Lee, Quartzy, "Godzilla is the perfect monster for our age of environmental destruction," 1 June 2019 One simple solution to both vandalism and charging would be to store scooters at powered docking stations, like many bike sharing programs. Los Angeles Times, "Electric scooters are good for the environment, right? Here’s why it’s not so simple," 2 Aug. 2019 Allen was charged with vandalism and driving under the influence. Robert Higgs,, "Gate crasher at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport gets jail time, fine for drive across the airfield," 31 July 2019 Additionally, he was charged with vandalism, theft and first- and second-degree escape, the release said. Erika Butler,, "Police still seeking additional suspects in convenience store robbery after making arrest," 25 July 2019

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

19 Aug 2019

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 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

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Comments on vandalism

What made you want to look up vandalism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a haphazard or makeshift solution

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