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

English national identity is not a choice between global metropolitanism and imperial voyeurism — the very contrast of global and imperial is a contradiction in terms. Sahil Handa, National Review, "Reclaiming Britishness from the Brexit Debacle," 10 June 2019 Federal Way police twice investigated the cases involving Tally Thomas and Gwen Gabert, once in 2016 and again last fall, before recommending two counts of voyeurism against McDaniels. (chadd Cady), San Diego Union-Tribune, "Jalen McDaniels makes admissions in video case," 8 June 2019 Clinton has made sporting use of public loathing here, playing not only on readers’ voyeurism but on the chance to reinvent himself as a misunderstood hero. Janet Maslin, New York Times, "Bill Clinton and James Patterson Team Up to Imagine a True Fantasy: Sane Politics," 3 June 2018 The department has received five voyeurism reports since September 9, according to the release. Heidi Groover, The Seattle Times, "Bellingham police seek identity of voyeurism suspect," 27 Sep. 2018 When the children of a society grow up believing their self-esteem is created through external voyeurism, love is not possible. Wade Davis, Good Housekeeping, "It's Time to Stop the Cycle of Shame, and Teach Boys How to Love Themselves," 30 Apr. 2019 Steven Powell was convicted of voyeurism in 2012 and possession of child pornography in 2015. Sarah Wu, The Seattle Times, "Steven Powell dies at 68, a year after release from prison," 24 July 2018 Louche voyeurism has been part of Saint Laurent’s identity since Yves Saint Laurent commissioned Jeanloup Sieff and Helmut Newton to shoot ads in the ’70s, and Vaccarello takes to it naturally. Alexandra Marshall, WSJ, "Exclusive: Step Inside YSL’s New Parisian Headquarters," 15 Feb. 2019 Last week, King County prosecutors opted against bringing felony voyeurism charges against McDaniels, citing legal insufficiency in the criminal case against him. Lewis Kamb, The Seattle Times, "Second woman sues former Federal Way basketball star Jalen McDaniels over exploitative videos," 19 Dec. 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

14 Jun 2019

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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 How to pronounce voyeurism (audio) \

Medical Definition of voyeurism

: the tendencies or behavior of a voyeur

Comments on voyeurism

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


a tendency to relapse

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