vic·​tim | \ ˈvik-təm How to pronounce victim (audio) \

Definition of victim

1 : one that is acted on and usually adversely affected by a force or agent the schools are victims of the social system : such as
a(1) : one that is injured, destroyed, or sacrificed under any of various conditions a victim of cancer a victim of the auto crash a murder victim
(2) : one that is subjected to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment a frequent victim of political attacks
b : one that is tricked or duped a con man's victim
2 : a living being sacrificed to a deity or in the performance of a religious rite

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Other Words from victim

victimhood \ ˈvik-​təm-​ˌhu̇d How to pronounce victim (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for victim


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Examples of victim in a Sentence

the victims of a hoax He was the victim of an error.
Recent Examples on the Web The Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office identified the victim as 20-year-old Raymond Renteria Hobbs of St. Paul, according to a tweet from the St. Paul Police Department. Alex Chhith, Star Tribune, "Man fatally shot near St. Paul Saloon is identified," 24 Feb. 2021 Cullman County Coroner Jeremy Kilpatrick identified the victim as Rebecca Erby. Carol Robinson |, al, "76-year-old woman killed in crash at Cullman intersection," 21 Feb. 2021 Portland police identified the victim as 57-year-old James Setty. oregonlive, "Person found dead near Broadway Bridge died from stab wounds, Portland police say," 21 Feb. 2021 As of Friday, the police had neither identified the victim nor released further information about the incident. Lori Riley,, "New London teen killed Wednesday a football player with dreams of college and a career in entertainment," 19 Feb. 2021 Officers found the victim inside a vehicle with an apparent gunshot wound. Robin Goist, cleveland, "Woman fatally shot in vehicle in Akron," 18 Feb. 2021 Pevehouse identified the victim in the incident as Stephen D. Basham, 34, of Hackett. Thomas Saccente, Arkansas Online, "Two arrested in deadly Hackett shooting, home invasion," 17 Feb. 2021 After several hours of trying to reach the people inside the building, the police had a robot unit go inside the building and identified a victim, officials said. Hojun Choi, USA TODAY, "At least 2 dead after SWAT standoff in Austin, Texas, authorities say," 27 Jan. 2021 Police identified the victim as Shelton Justin Stanley. Justin Fenton,, "Dunbar assistant principal killed in Pikesville home, Baltimore County police say," 29 Dec. 2020

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for victim

Latin victima; perhaps akin to Old High German wīh holy

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Time Traveler for victim

Time Traveler

The first known use of victim was in the 15th century

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Statistics for victim

Last Updated

27 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Victim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

Style: MLA
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More Definitions for victim



English Language Learners Definition of victim

: a person who has been attacked, injured, robbed, or killed by someone else
: a person who is cheated or fooled by someone else
: someone or something that is harmed by an unpleasant event (such as an illness or accident)


vic·​tim | \ ˈvik-təm How to pronounce victim (audio) \

Kids Definition of victim

1 : a person who is cheated, fooled, or hurt by another
2 : an individual injured or killed (as by disease, violence, or disaster)
3 : a person or animal offered as a religious sacrifice

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