voy·​eur·​ism | \vwä-ˈyər-ˌi-zəm, vȯi-ˈər-\

Definition of voyeurism 

: the desires or behavior of a voyeur: such as

a : the practice of obtaining sexual gratification from observing others Psychiatrists generally divide paraphilias into two groups: those focused on objects, like a foot fetish, and those focused on behaviors, like exhibitionism, voyeurism or frottage— Benedict Carey Ward, if he was guilty of anything at all, was guilty of observation. Looking, or (if you will) leering and ogling are not normally considered indictable offenses in British courts of law, but they do shade over into voyeurism— Paul Thomas

b : the practice of taking pleasure in observing something private, sordid, or scandalous Now there's a volume for those who are … bored by the salacious voyeurism of tell-alls.— Steven M. Zeitchik Voyeurism allows us to experience all the excitement of disaster, catastrophe, and pain, to witness the most horrible human events, without any danger of feeling real pain.— Gerald Mast But the voice of the diarist … will always exert a fascination close to voyeurism.— Rosellen Brown

Examples of voyeurism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The widespread outrage across India prompted quick action on legislation that doubled prison terms for rapists to 20 years and criminalized voyeurism, stalking and the trafficking of women. Aijaz Hussain, The Seattle Times, "India court keeps 3 death sentences in 2012 fatal gang rape," 9 July 2018 The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, was sentenced 16 years in prison after pleading guilty to forcing a 25-year-old woman to marry him as well as rape, bigamy and voyeurism. USA TODAY, "Mother convicted in landmark British case over forced marriage," 23 May 2018 Over the past two years in Britain, 78 incidents were reported but only 11 suspects were charged under the current laws on voyeurism and public indecency. New York Times, "U.K. Government Backs Bill to Make ‘Upskirting’ a Crime," 15 June 2018 The Met is, perhaps unintentionally, supporting voyeurism and the objectification of children. Michael Slenske And Molly Langmuir, The Cut, "Who’s Afraid of the Female Nude?," 18 Apr. 2018 Kenyon, who lives in Lakeland, was arrested on a charge of video voyeurism, according to a police report. Howard Cohen, miamiherald, "She felt skin against her leg. The pastor had his cell phone pointed up her dress, cops say," 13 July 2018 Prosecutors on June 7 charged Hodges with 35 counts, including felony charges of possession of child pornography, child exploitation and voyeurism. Vic Ryckaert, Indianapolis Star, "Lawsuit: Fishers Goodwill store failed to protect employees from bathroom voyeur," 20 June 2018 The enigmatic drama suggested isolation, voyeurism, desire, anguish. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "For Gay Pride, Dark Dances of Mystery, Anguish and Desire," 26 June 2018 The widespread outrage across India prompted quick action on legislation that doubled prison terms for rapists to 20 years and criminalizing voyeurism, stalking and the trafficking of women. Fox News, "India court rejects death sentence appeal in 2012 gang rape," 10 July 2018

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

1913, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for voyeurism

Last Updated

18 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for voyeurism

The first known use of voyeurism was in 1913

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voy·​eur·​ism | \-ˌiz-əm \

Medical Definition of voyeurism 

: the tendencies or behavior of a voyeur

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