vic·​tim·​ize | \ ˈvik-tə-ˌmīz How to pronounce victimize (audio) \
victimized; victimizing

Definition of victimize

transitive verb

1 : to make a victim of
2 : to subject to deception or fraud : cheat

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Other Words from victimize

victimization \ ˌvik-​tə-​mə-​ˈzā-​shən How to pronounce victimize (audio) \ noun
victimizer \ ˈvik-​tə-​ˌmī-​zər How to pronounce victimize (audio) \ 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 Petersen’s lawyer, Scott Williams, said his client did not victimize anyone. Sara Tabin, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Former Arizona politician sentenced for human smuggling in Utah," 21 Apr. 2021 Maria Hadden, 49th, said the ordinance seeks to codify rules to prevent the types of incidents involving police that victimize Chicagoans and erode relationships between residents and the Police Department. Gregory Pratt,, "Anjanette Young police raid prompts Chicago aldermen to push for search warrant changes," 24 Feb. 2021 This argument is based on the transphobic and inaccurate belief that trans women are actually men who are trying to infiltrate women’s spaces in order to assault and victimize them., "Biden Is Already Trying To Protect Trans Rights — & He Woke Up All The Twitter TERFs," 22 Jan. 2021 The order would allow for the release of more than 1,800 inmates, which Barnes and Spitzer believe would create more crime and victimize more people. David Aaro, Fox News, "California officials blast court ruling to reduce Orange County jail population," 15 Dec. 2020 Many of the scams are the same, the crooks just switch to current events to victimize people, says Tony Anscombe, global cybersecurity expert and chief security evangelist at ESET, an IT security software and services company. Washington Post, "Shop safe. The scammers are coming for you.," 23 Nov. 2020 Hopkins used the tactic to victimize Okudah in Arizona on Week 3. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "How Detroit Lions CB Jeff Okudah improved his play 'night and day'," 28 Oct. 2020 In what is thought to be its first use in Minnesota, prosecutors expect to seek a sentencing enhancement under a statute allowing for tougher penalties against those who victimize 10 or more people older than 55. Andy Mannix, Star Tribune, "Feds in Minnesota charge 60 in $335M magazine fraud scheme that defrauded tens of thousands of seniors nationwide," 28 Oct. 2020 Davenport said many victims remain in abusive households for fear of their pet’s safety as abusers victimize the pets to terrorize and threaten them. Yadira Sanchez Olson,, "Domestic abuse to be focus of online Lake County event," 26 Oct. 2020

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.

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First Known Use of victimize

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for victimize

Time Traveler

The first known use of victimize was in 1830

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Statistics for victimize

Last Updated

29 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Victimize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for victimize



English Language Learners Definition of victimize

: to treat (someone) cruelly or unfairly
chiefly US : to make a victim of (someone) : to harm or commit a crime against (someone)


vic·​tim·​ize | \ ˈvik-tə-ˌmīz How to pronounce victimize (audio) \
victimized; victimizing

Kids Definition of victimize

: to make a victim of

More from Merriam-Webster on victimize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for victimize

Nglish: Translation of victimize for Spanish Speakers

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