vic·​tim ˈvik-təm How to pronounce victim (audio)
: one that is acted on and usually adversely affected by a force or agent
the schools are victims of the social system
: such as
: 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
: one that is subjected to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment
a frequent victim of political attacks
: one that is tricked or duped
a con man's victim
: a living being sacrificed to a deity or in the performance of a religious rite
victimhood noun

Examples of victim in a Sentence

the victims of a hoax He was the victim of an error.
Recent Examples on the Web Didn't the Nazis steal their victims property as well? Timothy Bella, Washington Post, 24 Nov. 2023 The Athens County Coroner did not immediately respond to a request for more information, including the victims' identities. Emilie Dorn, NBC News, 26 Nov. 2023 The other victim was Guillermo De Los Angeles Jr., 47. Matthew Ormseth, Los Angeles Times, 25 Nov. 2023 The Federal Bureau of Prisons confirmed an unnamed inmate was stabbed at approximately 12:30 p.m. Friday, with sources telling the Associated Press and the New York Times that the victim in the assault was Chauvin. Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone, 25 Nov. 2023 Israel allows citizens who have been victims of militant attacks to challenge the release of prisoners, but the Supreme Court has never previously blocked a deal. Democrat-Gazette Staff From Wire Reports,, 24 Nov. 2023 The Coast Guard is assisting in the search for victims following Monday’s slide. Abigail Adams, Peoplemag, 22 Nov. 2023 There was also a strong smell of bleach inside the residence, and deputies allegedly found evidence suggesting the victims' bodies were dragged into the garage. Adam Sabes, Fox News, 22 Nov. 2023 The new research looked at deaths in National Collegiate Athletic Association athletes between July 2002 and June of 2022 and found that of the 1,102 who died, 143 of them were victims of sudden cardiac death—the most common medical cause of death among the group. Mary Whitfill Roeloffs, Forbes, 13 Nov. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'victim.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin victima; perhaps akin to Old High German wīh holy

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

Dictionary Entries Near victim

Cite this Entry

“Victim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Kids Definition


vic·​tim ˈvik-təm How to pronounce victim (audio)
: a living being offered as a sacrifice in a religious rite
: an individual injured or killed (as by disease or accident)
: a person cheated, fooled, or harmed by another

More from Merriam-Webster on victim

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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