vic·​tim·​ol·​o·​gy ˌvik-tə-ˈmä-lə-jē How to pronounce victimology (audio)
: the scientific study of crime victims including the study of the relationship between victim and offender and of the consequences and effects of being victimized
Victimology is often considered a subfield of criminology, and the two fields do share much in common. Just as criminology is the study of criminals—what they do, why they do it, and how the criminal justice system responds to them—victimology is the study of victims. Victimology, then, is the study of the etiology (or causes) of victimization, its consequences, how the criminal justice system accommodates and assists victims, and how other elements of society, such as the media, deal with crime victims.Leah E. Daigle and Lisa R. Muftić
also : characteristics of a particular criminal's victim or victims
The victimology … may include the victims' age, gender, race, occupation, physical attractiveness, relationship status, and perceived vulnerability, to name a few. Sometimes there is an identifiable likeness in victims chosen by serial offenders and sometimes there is not. Marisa Mauro
usually disparaging : the claim that the problems of a person or group are the result of that person or group having been victimized
In chronicling Zelda [Fitzgerald]'s sad life, [Nancy] Milford made clear that part of Zelda's undoing was her inability, despite her ambitions, to successfully transform her life into art. Instead, she remained raw material for her husband's refining. In stripping the glamour off the famous couple's self-immolation, Milford was credited by some, and pilloried by others, for having inaugurated a new class of feminist biography—victimology.Le Anne Schreiber
But Gerstmann says this encourages judges to engage in historically incoherent exercises of competitive victimology to decide which minority groups have been more oppressed than others.Jeffrey Rosen
victimologist noun

Examples of victimology in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The whole thing has rotted into a festival of bad faith and victimology, those twin markers of the Trump-Twitter Decade: rather an irony for a show organized under the sign of friendship. Jason Farago, New York Times, 23 Sep. 2022 On Thursday, Microsoft updated the report to say that based on forensic artifacts and overlaps in victimology, tradecraft, capabilities, and infrastructure, researchers determined DEV-0960 was very likely Iridium. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 11 Nov. 2022 In the long tradition of conservative victimology, that makes Rabois a martyr. Jacob Silverman, The New Republic, 18 Oct. 2022 Detectives are working with the FBI's Behavioral Analysis Unit to create a victimology profile, Davis said. Elaine Aradillas,, 10 Jan. 2022 On Megan Kelly’s podcast today, Crenshaw, who often tweet-battles with Ocasio-Cortez, ripped her victimology and added that lots of Republicans have faced tougher situations than wiping maple syrup off tables. Paul Bedard, Washington Examiner, 9 Dec. 2020 Yes, victimology has actually become something of a competition particularly on college campuses. Fox News, 7 Apr. 2018 So why do all of these pieces — the various ways Weinstein allegedly assaulted women, the victimology, the enablers — matter? Maureen Shaw, Teen Vogue, 18 Oct. 2017 Google’s rationale for firing James Damore perfectly mimics academic victimology—the equation of politically incorrect speech with violence, the silencing of nonconforming views, the refusal to hear what a dissenting speaker is actually saying. Heather Mac Donald, WSJ, 14 Aug. 2017 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'victimology.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1949, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of victimology was in 1949

Dictionary Entries Near victimology

Cite this Entry

“Victimology.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

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