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

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 To Villanueva, that means the district attorney’s reluctance to seek the harshest possible sentences or try juveniles as adults will eventually lead to irredeemable violent offenders returning to victimize L.A. County again and again. James Queallystaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 1 Apr. 2022 However, Proposition 47 went too far by offering leniency without requiring accountability in return from the offenders — especially for those who victimize others over and over again. Shelley Zimmerman, San Diego Union-Tribune, 4 Mar. 2022 Blumenthal said some scammers have set up fake websites posing as the U.S. Postal Service to victimize people seeking kits. Jesse Leavenworth,, 24 Jan. 2022 Tennessee’s Velus Jones, a former Saraland High School star, has excelled at both receiver and kick returner for the Volunteers, and will be out to victimize his hometown team. Creg Stephenson |, al, 19 Nov. 2021 Conservatives who brand the entire effort as an attempt to victimize the ex-President got some unexpected help last week when Biden agreed that people who refuse subpoenas should face the consequences. Stephen Collinson, CNN, 19 Oct. 2021 Prosecution of international cartels that victimize U.S. businesses and consumers is one of the Antitrust Division’s highest priorities…. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 25 Nov. 2021 The ego wants to isolate, blame and victimize people. Christie Garcia, Forbes, 11 Nov. 2021 Promising Young Woman Emerald Fennell directs this 2020 thriller starring Carey Mulligan as a 30-year-old medical school dropout who embarks on a vigilante crusade against men who victimize women. Los Angeles Times, 25 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of victimize

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of victimize was in 1830

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Cite this Entry

“Victimize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for victimize


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

Nglish: Translation of victimize for Spanish Speakers


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