vic·​tim | \ ˈvik-təm How to pronounce victim (audio) \

Definition of victim

1 : one that is acted on and usually adversely affected by a force or agent the schools are victims of the social system : such as
a(1) : one that is injured, destroyed, or sacrificed under any of various conditions a victim of cancer a victim of the auto crash a murder victim
(2) : one that is subjected to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment a frequent victim of political attacks
b : one that is tricked or duped a con man's victim
2 : a living being sacrificed to a deity or in the performance of a religious rite

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Other Words from victim

victimhood \ ˈvik-​təm-​ˌhu̇d How to pronounce victimhood (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for victim


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Examples of victim in a Sentence

the victims of a hoax He was the victim of an error.
Recent Examples on the Web Two female witnesses who arrived with the victim told police that Combs set up a meeting with Hosley to sell him some pills — possibly ecstasy. Liz Sawyer, Star Tribune, "17-year-old was directed to kill St. Paul man, charges say," 13 Nov. 2020 The Salt Lake Tribune obtained documents in 2016 that showed that, in one case, Rhoades looked up a report of a rape at the request of the Honor Code Office, then relayed intimate details about the victim back to the school staffer. Jessica Miller, The Salt Lake Tribune, "With BYU police on the brink, a judge is leaning toward eliminating the department," 13 Nov. 2020 At the session, Crooker raised concerns about the lack of victim notifications, and an officer who handled the case and a mental health clinician became agitated, according to the suit. oregonlive, "Portland police supervisor alleges he faced retaliation for not recommending Jami Resch’s domestic partner for lieutenant’s promotion," 13 Nov. 2020 The victim believes the theft may have been committed by a cleaning crew. Chuck Fieldman,, "Oak Brook police blotter: $10,000 in jewelry stolen from home," 13 Nov. 2020 Fort Myer Emergency Medical Services arrived and took the victim to a local hospital. NBC News, "Gen. Milley's wife saved vet who collapsed at Veterans Day ceremony in Arlington," 13 Nov. 2020 One victim was struck and transported to University of Cincinnati Medical Center with serious injuries, according to police. Madeline Mitchell, The Enquirer, "Police: Shots fired in Over-the-Rhine; victim in hospital with serious injuries," 13 Nov. 2020 The victim arrived home from work a few hours later and found that someone forced entry into her apartment. cleveland, "Man nabbed while wheeling away firewood he stole from Whole Foods: University Heights police blotter," 13 Nov. 2020 Sheriff's Office investigators accused Vasquez of calling the intended victim while posing as an administrator from the daughter's school in order to confirm the woman's address in Nashville. Michelle Hunter,, "Metairie pair charged with soliciting hitman to kill man's ex-girlfriend: Jefferson Parish DA," 13 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'victim.' 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 victim

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for victim

Latin victima; perhaps akin to Old High German wīh holy

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Time Traveler for victim

Time Traveler

The first known use of victim was in the 15th century

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Statistics for victim

Last Updated

17 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Victim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 Nov. 2020.

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More Definitions for victim


How to pronounce victim (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of victim

: a person who has been attacked, injured, robbed, or killed by someone else
: a person who is cheated or fooled by someone else
: someone or something that is harmed by an unpleasant event (such as an illness or accident)


vic·​tim | \ ˈvik-təm How to pronounce victim (audio) \

Kids Definition of victim

1 : a person who is cheated, fooled, or hurt by another
2 : an individual injured or killed (as by disease, violence, or disaster)
3 : a person or animal offered as a religious sacrifice

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