voy·​eur·​ism | \ vwä-ˈyər-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce voyeurism (audio) , vȯi-ˈər- How to pronounce voyeurism (audio) \

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 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
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 He was arrested in connection with six counts of video voyeurism and breaking or entering. Tracy Neal, Arkansas Online, 28 Mar. 2022 Nicholas Spellman, 21, of Wilbraham, Mass. was charged Wednesday with 13 counts of voyeurism, eavesdropping, disorderly conduct and two counts of risk of injury to a minor. Christine Dempsey, Hartford Courant, 14 Apr. 2022 Fiser, 26, was charged with two counts of child molestation in 2018 as well as indecent exposure, voyeurism and assault in 2019. Brock Blasdell, The Arizona Republic, 2 Mar. 2022 These elements suggest an act of prayerful voyeurism. Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Mar. 2022 Flu presents an excellent template for this sort of viral voyeurism. Katherine J. Wu, The Atlantic, 24 Feb. 2022 The woman who recorded them, Hadley Palmer, 53, pleaded guilty in January to several felony charges in the voyeurism case. New York Times, 14 Feb. 2022 The content of the clips and the digital spaces in which they are consumed create a sense of intimacy that photojournalism, with its tinge of voyeurism, sometimes lacks. Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker, 7 Mar. 2022 In terms of structure the main challenge was to avoid all stereotypes and avoid voyeurism. Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 14 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of voyeurism

1913, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of voyeurism was in 1913

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Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Voyeurism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/voyeurism. Accessed 22 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for voyeurism


voy·​eur·​ism | \ -ˌiz-əm How to pronounce voyeurism (audio) \

Medical Definition of voyeurism

: the tendencies or behavior of a voyeur


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