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

Jail officials worried Epstein could be victimized while in jail. Skyler Swisher,, "Jeffrey Epstein’s unusual lockup detailed in records, from jailhouse panties to contraband facial exercise manual," 19 Aug. 2019 The 6-foot-9-inch center has been fined several times in her career and feels victimized because of her size. Gary Washburn,, "DeMarcus Cousins’s latest injury a devastating blow," 17 Aug. 2019 This gives us valuable insight into how the scams operate while wasting the time these jerks could spend victimizing more vulnerable people. Washington Post, "Liz Weston: Don’t be duped by these phone and email scams," 29 July 2019 To the activists, the case spotlights dirty cops who victimize young black men and prosecutors who railroad them into criminal convictions. Tim Prudente,, "Baltimore jury finds Keith Davis Jr. guilty in contentious fourth murder trial," 26 July 2019 The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office announced on Facebook and Twitter that authorities were searching for the four teens, who allegedly victimized staff members prior to their escape. Eric Todisco,, "Four Inmates Allegedly Faked Fight to Escape Florida Juvenile Detention Center," 22 July 2019 The Cluffs were clearly victimized: Their family barely made it out alive, their house was destroyed, their children were traumatized. Leah Sottile, Longreads, "Chapter One: A Quiet Man," 15 July 2019 In Game 1, Maxwell hit a seventh-inning solo shot off Don Larsen, then victimized the Yanks with a two-run homer in the first inning off Duke Mass, a three-run blast in the fourth off Johnny Kucks and a solo homer in the seventh off Zach Monroe. Bill Dow, Detroit Free Press, "How Tigers' Charlie Maxwell became 'Sunday Charlie,' one sabbath blast at a time," 14 July 2019 The stories that were reported in the African American press would tend to be pointing to how the African American [perpetrator] was victimized within the system as well. Anna North, Vox, "Queer true crime stories of the past show how the press stoked fear of gay men," 11 June 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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Statistics for victimize

Last Updated

27 Aug 2019

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
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

What made you want to look up victimize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make a temporary encampment

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