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

Here is this beautiful, old (about 5,000 years old), huge tree, now being victimized by tourists who just want a little bit of history to take home with them, Sabrina Imbler writes for Atlas Obscura. Catharine Hamm,, "Escapes: Think summer, think savings in five places in the West," 27 June 2019 Wellness 7 Slides Raise your hand if some of your favorite pairs of underwear have been personally victimized by your period (*raises hand*). Teen Vogue, "These Are the 7 Best-Reviewed Period Panties on the Internet," 19 Mar. 2019 The elderly think the shame of being victimized is greater than going to authorities or telling someone what is happening to them. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Ask Veronica — Elder abuse needs to be part of the conversation on aging," 16 Sep. 2019 Hastert stopped paying the man in late 2014 after federal authorities approached him, aware of the suspicious bank withdrawals, to investigate whether the once powerful Republican leader was being victimized. Christy Gutowski,, "As trial approaches, lawyer in Hastert hush-money lawsuit alleges possible perjury," 13 Sep. 2019 Rockies starter Tim Mellville was victimized by the long ball four times in three innings and the Rockies suffered through an embarrassing meltdown in the Cardinals’ ninth. Patrick Saunders, The Denver Post, "Coors Field turns into launching pad in Rockies loss to Cardinals," 12 Sep. 2019 Infant formula has become a popular target for shoplifters at Metro Market, 11558 N. Port Washington Road, Mequon, which was victimized twice in August. Bill Kurtz, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Baby formula a target for shoplifters at Mequon store," 3 Sep. 2019 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

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

8 Oct 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

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