vic·​tim·​ize | \ˈvik-tə-ˌmīz \
victimized; victimizing

Definition of victimize 

transitive verb

1 : to make a victim of

2 : to subject to deception or fraud : cheat

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from victimize

victimization \ˌvik-​tə-​mə-​ˈzā-​shən \ noun
victimizer \ˈvik-​tə-​ˌmī-​zər \ noun

Examples of victimize in a Sentence

They were victimized because of their religion. victimized by a confidence man with a slick story

Recent Examples on the Web

But the Mojave species is victimized by a local beetle. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "Gangs of beetle larvae lure fathers of their next meal into sex trap," 12 Sep. 2018 Jim Hauer and the five other men each claim they were victimized as children decades ago by priests assigned to churches and schools throughout Western Washington. Lewis Kamb, The Seattle Times, "Seattle Archdiocese pays nearly $7 million to settle men’s claims that six priests abused them as boys," 13 Nov. 2018 Officer ended the press conference by encouraging anyone with information related to this case or any case where someone was victimized to reach out to the APD tip line. Nathan Mattise And Cyrus Farivar, Ars Technica, "Judge orders Cody Wilson’s arrest, but he skipped his return flight from Taiwan," 19 Sep. 2018 The latest allegation brings the number of women who say they were victimized by Fischer to 17. Jeff Mcdonald,, "Legal claim says deputy groped San Diego State student in 2012 and detectives pressured her not to file complaint," 16 June 2018 Keane said these items will be tested for DNA to possibly link the suspects to the children who claim they were victimized. Vanesa Brashier, Houston Chronicle, "Investigators seize camper, more evidence in Shepherd child porn case," 4 Apr. 2018 Often, victims try to resume their careers and don’t want the public to know they were victimized, said Chaim Book, an employment attorney at Moskowitz & Book LLP in New York. Nicole Hong, WSJ, "End of the Nondisclosure Agreement? Not So Fast," 26 Mar. 2018 The county is also offering assistance to those victimized by the fire. Lyndsay Winkley,, "Community comes together to drum up support for Alpine fire victims left homeless," 9 July 2018 Because if black folks don’t speak up, we will again be victimized by a racist policy dressed up to look like help. Solomon Jones,, "Liberal racism behind push for safe injection sites | Solomon Jones," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'victimize.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of victimize

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about victimize

Statistics for victimize

Last Updated

3 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for victimize

The first known use of victimize was in 1830

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for victimize



English Language Learners Definition of victimize

: to treat (someone) cruelly or unfairly

: to make a victim of (someone) : to harm or commit a crime against (someone)


vic·​tim·​ize | \ˈvik-tə-ˌmīz \
victimized; victimizing

Kids Definition of victimize

: to make a victim of

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on victimize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for victimize

Spanish Central: Translation of victimize

Nglish: Translation of victimize for Spanish Speakers

Comments on victimize

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!