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

Nearly two-thirds of Americans have been victimized by data theft of some kind, according to a Pew Research Center report on cybersecurity released last year. Suzanne Rowan Kelleher, Condé Nast Traveler, "6 Ways You Put Your Data at Risk When You Travel," 6 Dec. 2018 Besides victimizing innocent dogs, BSL doesn't keep people safe. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Montreal Has Officially Banned Pit Bulls — And It's Not the First City to Do It," 29 Sep. 2016 Williamson County is a Catch-22 for property owners victimized by state or local governments. Ilya Somin, WSJ, "The Justices Can Undo a Constitutional Catch-22," 2 Oct. 2018 Now, consider that the Seahawks have surrendered a league-worst 12 sacks in the first two weeks of the season, victimized by the Broncos’ Von Miller and the Bears’ Khalil Mack. Mike Vorel, The Seattle Times, "Five things to know about the Seahawks’ next opponent, the Dallas Cowboys," 17 Sep. 2018 City attorneys had argued that would create a barrier for immigrants to seek out city services ranging from health care to calling the police when they're victimized. CBS News, "Federal judge sides with Philadelphia in "sanctuary city" immigration fight," 6 June 2018 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

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

15 Jan 2019

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).


tremendous in size, volume, or degree

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three-bears-two-of-them-look-like-theyre-whispering-to-a-third-bear-who-looks-chuffed-to-be-the-center-of-attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Bee Cubed

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!