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


casualty, fatality, loss, prey

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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

The research might have implications for any efforts to expand the list of health problems eligible for payment from the victim compensation fund. CBS News, "9/11 firefighters who arrived early at World Trade Center may have higher heart risks now," 6 Sep. 2019 The revelation came as investigators continued to search for the cause of the deadly blaze, divers looked for the body of the one missing victim. Brian Melley,, "Smoke inhalation blamed for 34 deaths in California dive boat disaster," 6 Sep. 2019 The paper also will host an annual gathering called the Dina Wallach Block Symposium to honor the shooting victims and to give the community a chance to discuss free speech and thought in the face of hate speech and violence, according to its story. Alisha Ebrahimji, CNN, "They won a Pulitzer for reporting on a synagogue massacre. Then, they gave their $15,000 prize to the congregation," 5 Sep. 2019 The company declined to name the victim companies, or say whether the Euler Hermes case was one of them, but noted that the losses in one of the cases totaled in the millions of dollars. Drew Harwell, Anchorage Daily News, "An artificial-intelligence first: Voice-mimicking software reportedly used in a major theft," 5 Sep. 2019 The shooting victim was struck in the head but is expected to be OK. Carol Robinson |, al, "Innocent bystander shot in the head while inside Tuscaloosa apartment," 4 Sep. 2019 Miller’s statement, published before the start of the #MeToo movement, brought national attention to the treatment of rape victims. Jasmine Aguilera, Time, "'Emily Doe's' Victim Impact Statement Became a National Rallying Cry. Now We Know Her Name," 4 Sep. 2019 Difficulties in fairly and transparently handling misconduct investigations won’t be fixed anytime soon, victims advocates say. Jessica Gelt, Los Angeles Times, "Why the Plácido Domingo sexual harassment investigation brings questions, not answers," 4 Sep. 2019 Last year, Frankel’s group provided a truck and cash cards to help Florida victim s after Hurricane Michael. Johnny Diaz,, "From South Florida, 'Real Housewives’ star Bethenny Frankel helping Hurricane Dorian victims in the Bahamas," 4 Sep. 2019

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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Statistics for victim

Last Updated

9 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for victim

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on victim

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with victim

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for victim

Spanish Central: Translation of victim

Nglish: Translation of victim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of victim for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about victim

Comments on victim

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


to make a temporary encampment

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