: the desires or behavior of a voyeur: such as
: 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 frottageBenedict 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 voyeurismPaul Thomas
also : the criminal act of surreptitiously viewing a person without their consent in a place where the person has a reasonable expectation of privacy (such as a home or public bathroom) or of using a device (such as a camera) for the purpose of such viewing
A 21-year-old man has been charged with voyeurism for allegedly using his phone's camera to view the person using the restroom in the stall next to him in a dorm on the Notre Dame campus, according to court records. Melissa Hudson
: 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 final charge, voyeurism, was also dismissed with prejudice. Kolbie Peterson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 21 Aug. 2023 Easthope was charged with three class A misdemeanor counts of unlawful massage therapy; a class B misdemeanor charge of doing business without a license; and a class B misdemeanor charge of voyeurism. Kolbie Peterson, The Salt Lake Tribune, 21 Aug. 2023 The film takes the neo-noir approach to explore themes of mental health, voyeurism and access to information. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 7 June 2023 Palmer pleaded guilty in January to three counts of voyeurism and risk of injury to a minor — all felonies committed in between 2017 and 2018. Dave Collins, Hartford Courant, 29 Nov. 2022 But, if your tastes run to voyeurism and decadence, there’s nothing like an in-person Janelle Stone event. Rachel Monroe, The New Yorker, 4 Nov. 2022 Ashton Thomas, 27, pleaded guilty Monday to four counts of video voyeurism. Tracy Neal, Arkansas Online, 25 July 2023 Diaz Vega was arrested on March 31 on suspicion of video voyeurism and had a bond of $2,500 set for him. Raja Razek, CNN, 24 Apr. 2023 Nine days later, the probation officer was provided reports for two of the devices saying that each contained evidence of voyeurism and one contained evidence of child pornography. Mike Mavredakis, Hartford Courant, 31 Oct. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'voyeurism.' 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

1913, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of voyeurism was in 1913

Dictionary Entries Near voyeurism

Cite this Entry

“Voyeurism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/voyeurism. Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

Medical Definition


voy·​eur·​ism -ˌiz-əm How to pronounce voyeurism (audio)
: the tendencies or behavior of a voyeur
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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