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 victim (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 According to police, officers responded around 11:51 p.m. Friday to a residence in the 3700 block of Clairmont Street on a report of a shooting victim. D.l. Davis, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "18-year-old arrested in fatal shooting of 17-year-old boy in Racine," 8 May 2021 According to a report by the security firm Cybereason, Darkside has compromised more than 40 victim organizations and demanded between $200,000 and $2 million in ransom from them. Andy Greenberg, Wired, "The Colonial Pipeline Hack Is a New Extreme for Ransomware," 8 May 2021 Ransomware scrambles a victim organization’s data with encryption. Time, "Major U.S. Gasoline Pipeline Halts Operations After Cyberattack," 8 May 2021 During the trial, the court heard that the incident took place after Hayne arrived, drunk, at the victim's home following a stag party. Sara Spary, CNN, "Jarryd Hayne, former Australian rugby league international, jailed for sexual assault," 7 May 2021 Logan Paul, who at 0-1 is not exactly an accomplished fighters, most notably filmed a suicide victim in 2017 for his YouTube channel because, well, is there any better way to expand your social media following? Josh Peter, USA TODAY, "Opinion: Floyd Mayweather-Logan Paul fight is one we can agree not to watch," 7 May 2021 The district attorney said that the office’s victim witness advocate was in touch with Strothers on April 19., "Here’s what we know — and do not know — about the death of Mikayla Miller," 7 May 2021 Often, ransomware criminals have gathered intelligence about potential targets in advance and know when a victim carries insurance that covers ransom payments. Frank Bajak, Star Tribune, "Insurer AXA halts ransomware crime reimbursement in France," 6 May 2021 In one remarkable moment, a robbery victim who survived five gunshot wounds wondered why he was picked. Fox News, "Documentary series revisits 2002 Washington sniper case," 6 May 2021

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

10 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Victim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for victim



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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