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

The latest allegation brings the number of women who say they were victimized by Fischer to 17. Jeff Mcdonald,, "Legal claim says deputy groped San Diego State student in 2012 and detectives pressured her not to file complaint," 16 June 2018 Keane said these items will be tested for DNA to possibly link the suspects to the children who claim they were victimized. Vanesa Brashier, Houston Chronicle, "Investigators seize camper, more evidence in Shepherd child porn case," 4 Apr. 2018 Often, victims try to resume their careers and don’t want the public to know they were victimized, said Chaim Book, an employment attorney at Moskowitz & Book LLP in New York. Nicole Hong, WSJ, "End of the Nondisclosure Agreement? Not So Fast," 26 Mar. 2018 The county is also offering assistance to those victimized by the fire. Lyndsay Winkley,, "Community comes together to drum up support for Alpine fire victims left homeless," 9 July 2018 Because if black folks don’t speak up, we will again be victimized by a racist policy dressed up to look like help. Solomon Jones,, "Liberal racism behind push for safe injection sites | Solomon Jones," 13 June 2018 And the tone of those tweets -- angry, incredulous and, most interestingly, victimized -- suggest just how much emotional investment Trump has in all of this. Chris Cillizza, CNN, "Donald Trump wants you to know he can pardon himself. But he's not going to -- yet.," 4 June 2018 The disabled Roman Emperor Claudius, (10 B.C.-A.D. 54) spent most his life being victimized by his awful family. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "At Age 50, a Time of Second Acts," 28 June 2018 Perez’s homer in the fifth inning prevented the Bruins from being victimized by the mercy rule. Ben Bolch,, "UCLA softball runs out of comebacks in season-ending loss to Florida State," 4 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

5 Nov 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).


playful or foolish behavior

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