van·​dal·​ize | \ ˈvan-də-ˌlīz How to pronounce vandalize (audio) \
vandalized; vandalizing

Definition of vandalize

transitive verb

: to subject to vandalism : damage

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Other Words from vandalize

vandalization \ ˌvan-​də-​lə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce vandalization (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for vandalize


deface, trash

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Examples of vandalize in a Sentence

Our car was vandalized in the parking lot. he decided to vandalize the store because the owner had kicked him out

Recent Examples on the Web

The bull, the symbol of a surging stock market, has been vandalized before. New York Times, "Attack Leaves Wall Street’s Iconic Bull With a Gash on Its Horn," 8 Sep. 2019 About two dozen shops, owned by foreigners and locals alike were either vandalized or looted, Al Jazeera reports. Breanna Edwards, Essence, "Five Killed In Xenophobic Attacks In South Africa," 3 Sep. 2019 In theory, they’re built to last for two years, but that doesn’t account for all the people who throw them into rivers and lakes, light them on fire, drop them into garbage cans, or otherwise vandalize them. Sigal Samuel, Vox, "We regret to inform you that scooters aren’t actually good for the environment," 8 Aug. 2019 There’s no word yet on word on who vandalized the billboard. Marcus Jones,, "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood billboard vandalized to feature Jeffrey Epstein and Roman Polanski," 26 July 2019 To those who vandalized our church sign proclaiming God’s welcome to all: God loves you, too. Carina Julig, The Denver Post, "Denver church’s sign supporting immigrants vandalized, but congregation isn’t backing down," 24 July 2019 Breaking and entering: Case Road On Aug. 11, a man reported that a home under construction had been broken into and vandalized. Cheryl Higley,, "Report of man shooting his mom unfounded: North Ridgeville Police Blotter," 30 Aug. 2019 Matthew Stevenson has trouble accepting his parent’s divorce and vents his anger by vandalizing a church. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 1 - 7, 2019: John Wayne in ‘The Searchers’ and more," 30 Aug. 2019 Three other protesters were taken in earlier this week for alleged involvement in the storming of the legislative building on July 1, when protesters broke in and vandalized the main chamber. Ken Moritsugu, Anchorage Daily News, "Hong Kong democracy activists arrested, anniversary protest march banned," 30 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vandalize.' 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 vandalize

1832, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for vandalize

vandal + -ize

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Statistics for vandalize

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for vandalize

The first known use of vandalize was in 1832

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More Definitions for vandalize



English Language Learners Definition of vandalize

: to deliberately destroy or damage (property)


van·​dal·​ize | \ ˈvan-də-ˌlīz How to pronounce vandalize (audio) \
vandalized; vandalizing

Kids Definition of vandalize

: to destroy or damage property on purpose


transitive verb
van·​dal·​ize | \ ˈvand-ᵊl-ˌīz How to pronounce vandalize (audio) \
vandalized; vandalizing

Legal Definition of vandalize

: to subject to vandalism

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Comments on vandalize

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


to spread over or through

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