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

The same map data made its way to the real estate application Zillow: OpenStreetMap has frequently had to deal with data vandalism, rolling back malicious changes to map data by trolls. Sean Gallagher, Ars Technica, "Data vandal changes name of New York City to “Jewtropolis” across multiple apps [Updated]," 30 Aug. 2018 The site has also experienced issues with vandalism, according to Brian Biernat, director of economic development, inspections, and zoning for the city of Cudahy. Erik S. Hanley, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Former tannery in Cudahy, vacant for 14 years, to become mini-storage warehouses," 15 May 2018 This is a big boost to the ride-sharing electric-scooter sector that has seen sizeable investor interest despite questions about profitability and vandalism. Marc Vartabedian, WSJ, "Scooter Startup Lime Is Raising $400 Million at $2 Billion Valuation," 31 Jan. 2019 Residents throughout Manchester and the region also have been frustrated by car burglaries and vandalism. Jesse Leavenworth, Courant Community, "Manchester Residents Rail Against Proposed Curfew," 10 July 2018 Without funds to preserve the crumbling rock walls of the compound, Parks and Wildlife buried the ruins in sand to prevent further erosion and vandalism. Joe Holley, Houston Chronicle, "The remarkable Ana Maria Calvillo: She could ride, shoot, ranch and live in peace with the Indians," 29 June 2018 Twin Rivers Assistant Superintendent Bill McGuire said that vandalism inside the pool's PVC lining, which necessitated 4 feet of water to be drained for repairs Wednesday. Claire Morgan, sacbee, "Slight in Del Paso Heights? Grant’s pool closed for summer, and residents aren’t happy," 29 June 2018 In 2014, after the host at Local’s Corner denied a Latino family of six a table for brunch, the neighborhood responded with public protests, boycotts and vandalism. Jonathan Kauffman,, "Is 24th Street’s Latino Cultural District enough to stop gentrification?," 15 June 2018 The vandalism of downtown businesses on the day President Donald Trump was sworn in stretched more than 16 blocks as part of a disturbance called DisruptJ20. Keith L. Alexander,, "Federal prosecutors dismiss all remaining Inauguration Day rioting cases," 7 July 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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Statistics for vandalism

Last Updated

18 Mar 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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