vic·​tim ˈvik-təm How to pronounce victim (audio)
: one that is acted on and usually adversely affected by a force or agent
the schools are victims of the social system
: such as
: 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
: one that is subjected to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment
a frequent victim of political attacks
: one that is tricked or duped
a con man's victim
: a living being sacrificed to a deity or in the performance of a religious rite
victimhood noun

Examples of victim in a Sentence

the victims of a hoax He was the victim of an error.
Recent Examples on the Web If victims do catch on, the cartel has another layer prepared to draw them back in: New employees call them, sometimes months later, saying that their information was found in a police raid of a call center. Steve Fisher, USA TODAY, 23 Feb. 2024 When the trial opened on Monday last week, the victim testified for more than an hour but did so behind a screen so that she couldn't be identified. Tom Sanderson, Forbes, 22 Feb. 2024 Around College and Cody, the victim told police that Rahto fired several rounds at their vehicle before fleeing and crashing at the intersection. Andrea Klick, Kansas City Star, 22 Feb. 2024 Prosecutors say 15 of the 16 parcels to Hilton were linked to lottery scams by victim interviews and shipping records. David J. Neal, Miami Herald, 22 Feb. 2024 The victim’s family did not respond to an email seeking comment. Robert Salonga, The Mercury News, 22 Feb. 2024 Per the docs, both the victim's wife and another passenger yelled at Lopez to stop. Brenton Blanchet, Peoplemag, 22 Feb. 2024 Kristen Knight, the DJ who came forward as Morillo’s alleged victim, did not immediately return a request for comment. August Brown, Los Angeles Times, 21 Feb. 2024 The victim in the first case, which led to a four-year prison sentence, told CNN on Tuesday that McDougal, his former coworker, attacked him after being thrown out of his house. Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN, 21 Feb. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'victim.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Latin victima; perhaps akin to Old High German wīh holy

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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

Dictionary Entries Near victim

Cite this Entry

“Victim.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


vic·​tim ˈvik-təm How to pronounce victim (audio)
: a living being offered as a sacrifice in a religious rite
: an individual injured or killed (as by disease or accident)
: a person cheated, fooled, or harmed by another

More from Merriam-Webster on victim

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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