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

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 What does repair and restoration look like, for example, for an employee who was the victim of biased treatment? Janice Gassam Asare, Forbes, 20 May 2022 Another Citizen Exceptional Service award went to business owner Michel Lombrozo, who was the victim of a theft of valuable sports cards. Laura Groch, San Diego Union-Tribune, 19 May 2022 Half Shell, the beloved seafood restaurant created by chef Ann Cashion and John Fulchino, is no more, a victim of the pandemic. Washington Post, 18 May 2022 Atwood claimed to be the victim of hysteria over the prominent case even after his conviction. Raphael Romero Ruiz, The Arizona Republic, 17 May 2022 Ironically – or perhaps predictably – the protestations of Depp’s total innocence have turned into online mobs swarming anyone who disagrees and believes that Heard is the victim. Jill Filipovic, CNN, 17 May 2022 Mother Young was a victim in the mass murder shooting spree in #BuffaloNY by #PaytonGendron, a white supremacist terrorist. Joanna Slater,, 16 May 2022 Ball was the victim of a carjacking on July 17, 2020, according to the lawsuit, and soon after was placed on medical leave. Lamond Pope, Chicago Tribune, 11 May 2022 Police struggled to restrain the man from getting at the victim once more and eventually had to force him to the floor. cleveland, 6 May 2022 See More

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.

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

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

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Dictionary Entries Near victim

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Statistics for victim

Last Updated

22 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Victim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for victim


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

More from Merriam-Webster on victim

Nglish: Translation of victim for Spanish Speakers

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


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