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 Once again, the Wolverines were victimized by a Big Ten center. Orion Sang, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan basketball loses at Minnesota, remains winless in road games," 12 Jan. 2020 In fact, the Saints have been victimized by some serious Louisiana Voodoo. Nate Davis, USA TODAY, "32 things we learned from wild-card weekend of NFL playoffs," 6 Jan. 2020 People of color reported being victimized by people who referred to the president or his border and immigration policies. Rachel Glickhouse, ProPublica, "What We Found in Three Years of Documenting Hate: A Letter to Our Partners," 2 Jan. 2020 With 8:43 left and the Cavs down 93-86, Henson victimized Valanciunas once again. Cameron Fields, cleveland, "John Henson ties career-high 7 blocks in leading Cavaliers’ defense in comeback win over Memphis Grizzlies," 21 Dec. 2019 Pratt has indeed been victimized in coverage during his rookie campaign. Tyler Dragon,, "Cincinnati Bengals LB Germaine Pratt trying to take advantage of opportunity," 19 Nov. 2019 Garoppolo, who was picking up some faint buzz as an MVP candidate, was victimized by sloppy receiving and injuries and put up a 66.2 passer rating. Scott Ostler,, "49ers’ dream season veers off-road in OT loss to Seahawks," 11 Nov. 2019 So have the coaches’ challenges on pass interference that were approved for this season after the Saints were victimized by a non-call on a blatant interference in the NFC championship game, helping the Rams advance to the Super Bowl. Arnie Stapleton, The Denver Post, "Yellow flags, red flags, black eyes for NFL’s 100th season," 5 Nov. 2019 But, inevitably, too, we are victimized as individuals, by illness and age and all the other human frailties. Kevin Baker, Harper's magazine, "Whiteout," 28 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

15 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Victimize.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 January 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

Comments on victimize

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to help to grow, develop, or succeed

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