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

Other Words from victim

victimhood \ ˈvik-​təm-​ˌhu̇d How to pronounce victim (audio) \ noun

Synonyms for victim


Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of victim in a Sentence

the victims of a hoax He was the victim of an error.
Recent Examples on the Web Sir Salman Rushdie, esteemed writer and member of the Emory scholarly community, has been the victim of an attack at a public speaking event in New York. Joshua Goodman, ajc, 12 Aug. 2022 Despite being administered first aid, the victim was eventually pronounced dead at the scene, according to police. Los Angeles Times, 9 Aug. 2022 The victim was pronounced deceased a short time later. Christine Condon, Baltimore Sun, 5 Aug. 2022 The third victim, the 29 year-old, was pronounced dead Friday. Christine Fernando, USA TODAY, 5 Aug. 2022 Medical personnel were requested and the victim was pronounced dead at the scene, according to the news release. Alexandria Brown, Arkansas Online, 3 Aug. 2022 The victim was pronounced dead on the scene at 2:03 a.m. Carol Robinson |, al, 1 Aug. 2022 However, the fifth victim was pronounced dead after being transported to Lakeview Hospital in Stillwater, Minnesota. Shafiq Najib,, 31 July 2022 The 43-year-old victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Fox News, 24 July 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About victim

Time Traveler for victim

Time Traveler

The first known use of victim was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near victim

vicontiel writs



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for victim

Last Updated

14 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Victim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 15 Aug. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More Definitions for victim


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

More from Merriam-Webster on victim

Nglish: Translation of victim for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of victim for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about victim


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!