vic·tim | \ˈvik-təm \

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 \ noun

Synonyms for victim


butt, mark, prey, sitting duck, target

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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 victim was transported to Norwood Hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Margeaux Sippell,, "Medfield man killed in motorcycle crash in Walpole," 14 July 2018 The victim was identified Friday morning by police as Sean Schellenger, 37, of Point Breeze, whose Streamline Group LLC builds new developments around the city., "Philadelphia developer stabbed to death near Rittenhouse Square," 13 July 2018 The three victims are expected to survive their wounds from the fight, which happened about 10:15 p.m., Oceanside police Lt. Teri Figueroa,, "Three stabbed in suspected gang fight near Oceanside pier," 13 July 2018 The victim has not been identified yet by the Cook County medical examiner. Hannah Leone,, "3 charged in death of man who was beaten and shot in Gage Park," 13 July 2018 Both victims were taken by ambulance to area hospitals. Jennifer Baker,, "Police shoot, kill pit bull after 2 attacked in NKY," 13 July 2018 Family members of Dozier’s victims are not expected at his execution, Nevada prisons spokeswoman Brooke Santina said. Ken Ritter, The Seattle Times, "Drug company’s lawsuit could derail Nevada execution," 10 July 2018 The victim was identified this week as 24-year-old Andrey Privin, according to the Chicago Tribune. Stephanie Petit,, "Illinois Man, 24, Dies from Fall at Grand Canyon Just Days Before Starting Career as a Nurse," 10 July 2018 The injury was serious but the victim is expected to recover, his attorney has said. Crimesider Staff, CBS News, "Judge: Dancing FBI agent, accused in backflip gunfire incident, can carry weapon again," 10 July 2018

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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Phrases Related to victim

fall victim to

fashion victim

victim mentality

Statistics for victim

Last Updated

21 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for victim

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

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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 \

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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Comments on victim

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


a state of commotion or excitement

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