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 victimization (audio) \ noun
victimizer \ ˈvik-​tə-​ˌmī-​zər How to pronounce victimizer (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 Of dozens of people interviewed by AP who said they had been victimized in Nuevo Laredo, Reynosa, Matamoros and Monterrey, just one had filed a police report. Maria Verza, The Denver Post, "Migrants stuck in lawless limbo within sight of America," 18 Nov. 2019 This is what Scientology teaches: This vitriol to attack viciously those women who’ve courageously come forward and are saying we’ve been victimized and want their day in court. Joey Nolfi,, "Scientology and the Aftermath," 26 Aug. 2019 Blaming a child for being victimized by an adult is abhorrent and wildly irresponsible. Christine Brennan, USA TODAY, "Coach accused of sex abuse coverup allowed to work figure skating nationals," 24 Jan. 2020 When Mack recounted being victimized by poor officiating at Rupp Arena Friday, his reference was to an NCAA Tournament game Xavier lost to Ohio State. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "For better or worse, the Kentucky-Louisville basketball rivalry is growing more civilized," 28 Dec. 2019 That witch is a term that's been traditionally used to discredit women, but as soon as men are feeling a little bit sad, then women become the witch hunters and men are the witches, being victimized. Samantha Leach, Glamour, "Lindy West Has a New Book, a Hit TV Show, and No Shortage of Opinions," 11 Nov. 2019 Hastert had paid the man $1.7 million but stopped in late 2014 after federal authorities approached him, aware of suspicious bank withdrawals, to investigate whether the once powerful Republican leader was being victimized. Christy Gutowski,, "Hastert hush-money sex abuse lawsuit trial delayed until spring," 4 Nov. 2019 The goal is preventing patients from being financially victimized, Sen. Tate. Dp Opinion, The Denver Post, "Letters: What is the fix for surprise medical bills? (11/3/19)," 3 Nov. 2019 Democrats argue that Yovanovitch would be a compelling witness, both for her substantive knowledge of Ukraine and her personal, emotional story of being victimized by Giuliani’s actions., "WASHINGTON — House Democrats are preparing to move their largely private impeachment inquiry onto a more public stage as soon as mid-November and are already grappling with how best to present the complex Ukraine saga to the American people.," 24 Oct. 2019

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

26 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Victimize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for victimize


How to pronounce victimize (audio)

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

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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

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