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

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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

One of employers’ biggest concerns, Simandl said, is that people who've been victimized often aren’t reporting it. Guy Boulton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "In the #MeToo era, creating a workplace culture of respect is essential," 4 May 2018 After being constantly victimized by the dominant Mexican gangs, El Salvadoran immigrants banded together for protection, thus enlarging their membership and force. USA TODAY, "Live stream: President Trump at roundtable on threat from MS-13," 23 May 2018 Research on white racial attitudes and collective memory shows that white Southerners who lived through the civil rights movement viewed themselves, not people of color, as victimized. Crystal Marie Fleming, Vox, "Maxine Waters and the trope of the “angry black woman”," 29 June 2018 Among the many women believed to have been victimized by the rapist is Margaret Wardlow, who was 13 years old when she was raped in her bedroom just outside Sacramento in 1977, when the statute of limitations was three years. Melody Gutierrez, San Francisco Chronicle, "Charges of rape in question in Golden State Killer case," 3 May 2018 These Questions Are Killing Me Joseph Spak with RBC Capital Market was the next analyst to be victimized by Musk’s sass. Kirsten Korosec, Fortune, "Elon Musk Was Weirder Than Usual on Tesla's Earnings Call. Here Are the CEO's Best Lines," 3 May 2018 Yet because so many rapists are repeat offenders, that failure to act can mean allowing others to be victimized who might have been spared by a DNA match. Brian Lowry, CNN, "'I Am Evidence' examines problem of untested rape kits," 16 Apr. 2018 However, the file contained malware meant to victimize the recipient further. Veronica Craker, idahostatesman, "Scammers target scam victims looking to recoup lost money," 9 Feb. 2018 There is no statistical basis for the way African-American communities are inordinately victimized by law enforcement. Michael Harriot, The Root, "Unprotected, Underserved: The (False) Criminalization of Black America," 25 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.

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First Known Use of victimize

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for victimize

Last Updated

24 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for victimize

The first known use of victimize was in 1830

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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

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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).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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