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 victimhood (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for victim


casualty, fatality, loss, prey

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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

Prosecutors also asked the judge to order restitution for the victims in an amount to be later determined. Time, "Prosecutors: Drug Lord El Chapo Should Get Life in Prison," 11 July 2019 These groups include local health departments, mental health programs, regional state universities, and agencies that provide shelter and counseling for victims of spouse abuse, child abuse and rape. Tom Loftus, The Courier-Journal, "Kentucky House Democrats pitch alternative pension bill that protects benefits," 11 July 2019 The approach would leave in place laws requiring a guardian’s consent for women to marry, leave prison or even exit a shelter for abuse victims, the people said. Summer Said, WSJ, "Saudis Plan to Ease Travel Restrictions on Women," 11 July 2019 Higher clearance rates would deter future killers, incapacitate active ones, provide justice to victims, and enhance the legitimacy of law enforcement in the eyes of the community. Robert Verbruggen, National Review, "A Plan to Cut the Murder Rate that Conservatives Should Get Behind," 11 July 2019 The secretary said this had to do with the potential for monetary restitution for victims. Anna North, Vox, "Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta has no good answer for cushy Jeffrey Epstein plea deal," 10 July 2019 The Medina County Sheriff's Office have yet to release the causes of death for the two victims. Fox News, "Texas woman and ex-boyfriend who abducted her found dead on remote property: police," 10 July 2019 Advocates for victims of domestic violence warned that cutting funding to domestic violence shelters would expose women and children to even more danger. Luis Gómez Romero, The Conversation, "Mexican president López Obrador has a woman problem," 10 July 2019 Lawyers for Epstein's victims have compared the trafficking ring to an organized crime family with people working as schedulers, recruiters, pilots and bookkeepers. Jorge L. Ortiz, USA TODAY, "Jeffrey Epstein: How the sex-trafficking investigation could shed light on corruption," 9 July 2019

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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Statistics for victim

Last Updated

15 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for victim

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on victim

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with victim

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for victim

Spanish Central: Translation of victim

Nglish: Translation of victim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of victim for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about victim

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).


to complain fretfully

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