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


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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 scammer draws out information from their potential victim. Richard Ruelas, azcentral, "No, it turns out that caller is not really interested in lowering your credit card rates," 21 Mar. 2020 But, as these photographs show — and as the pre-photographic chronicles of history, faith and mythology confirm — the Earth and its people have long been prey to the invisible pathogens that bring their victims low with equal efficiency. Alan Cowell, New York Times, "Photos From a Century of Epidemics," 20 Mar. 2020 Its victims include a former New York fire marshal who sprang into action on 9/11, a mother to six who was battling breast cancer, and four members of a New Jersey family. Dakin Andone, CNN, "These are the faces of some of the US coronavirus victims," 20 Mar. 2020 As his victims broke into tears in the gallery, Weinstein was then handcuffed to his wheelchair and transported back to jail. Jan Ransom,, "Weinstein Has Mild Heart Attack After Sentencing," 12 Mar. 2020 Their victims are made to resemble classic paintings or sculptures housed in European museums. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Postcard Killings': Film Review," 12 Mar. 2020 No guilty verdict or jail sentence, even for life, can restore what Harvey Weinstein stole from his victims. Melissa Gira Grant, The New Republic, "No Justice for Harvey Weinstein’s Victims," 10 Mar. 2020 Alito sees a conflict of interest, with doctors offering a commercial service and women their potential victims apparently. Ephrat Livni, Quartz, "SCOTUS abortion case tests order in the John Roberts court," 4 Mar. 2020 In Mexico, the Church hierarchy has shown signs of change after decades in which high-ranking prelates defended Mr. Maciel, even after several of his victims came forward with stories of abuse. Juan Montes, WSJ, "Vatican Researchers to Help Investigate Clerical Abuse," 3 Mar. 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

24 Mar 2020

Cite this Entry

“Victim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Apr. 2020.

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More Definitions for victim


How to pronounce victim (audio)

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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