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 Publicly spreading information about the child could re-victimize the child in the future, Powers said. Brandi Addison, Dallas News, "After QAnon conspiracy theorists latch on to video of distraught girl, Frisco police warn of misinformation," 3 Sep. 2020 Wanggaard's bill would create a Police and Community Safety Board tasked with using that approach to help law enforcement learn from fatal and near-fatal incidents that victimize officers, civilians or both. Gina Barton, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Police reforms championed by Kamala Harris and a man whose son was killed by Kenosha police are in the works," 25 Aug. 2020 But preliminary indications are that the poor, especially the homeless, not only are more likely to be victimized but also more likely to face hardship. David M. Shribman, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Opinion: Even our view of what freedom means in America has divided us during the coronavirus pandemic," 29 May 2020 The minority communities and poor people have been victimized by police brutality for centuries. Fox News, "Attorney Eric Guster: George Floyd death shows power of 'tapes, sound, and audio' to showcase police actions," 29 May 2020 In the Season 5 finale on Sunday, Claire was victimized once again, this time in a shocking gang rape — an event that was moved forward in the narrative from Book 6 of the best-selling novels by Diana Gabaldon on which the series is based. Jennifer Vineyard, New York Times, "How the ‘Outlander’ Team Managed That Shocking Season Finale," 10 May 2020 Survivor Dear Survivor: You were victimized by unspeakable abuse during childhood. Amy Dickinson, Detroit Free Press, "Survivor wants to confront bully," 11 Feb. 2020 These stories often have something to say about the nature of codependency, but the enablers themselves are merely supporting players, pigeonholed as weak and victimized. Jim Ruland, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Let’s hear it for the codependents," 24 Apr. 2020 Our hearts and prayers are with those impacted by the hazing, particularly the students who were victimized and their families. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, "De La Salle President John Knight fired over football hazing scandal," 5 Mar. 2020

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

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Victimize.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Oct. 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

More from Merriam-Webster on victimize

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for victimize

Nglish: Translation of victimize for Spanish Speakers

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