: 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

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Under Florida law, video voyeurism carries penalties of up to five years in prison on each charge. Elliot Tritto, Orlando Sentinel, 12 Sep. 2022 Under Florida law, video voyeurism carries penalties of up to five years in prison on each charge. Elliot Tritto, Sun Sentinel, 12 Sep. 2022 Court documents reveal the second voyeurism incident at the Godlengate Drive residence was discovered when Ayers was arrested for a similar offense in Union Township, and his phone was taken as evidence in the case. The Enquirer, 9 Sep. 2022 An arriving officer talked to the caller, who accused a neighbor in the complex of voyeurism. John Benson, cleveland, 2 Feb. 2023 This guilt points to the way memoir, as a genre, is often regarded: as solipsistic unburdening on the part of the writer, and as naked voyeurism on the part of the reader. Christina Mccausland, The Atlantic, 16 Dec. 2022 In 2015, Ayers was convicted of voyeurism related to a 2014 incident. The Enquirer, 9 Sep. 2022 But Carl Elliott quickly delves beyond case-study voyeurism to plumb a litany of fascinating philosophical questions. Longreads, 2 Sep. 2022 Officers found no additional evidence of voyeurism or other victims while analyzing his phone, police said. Mike Mavredakis, Hartford Courant, 8 Feb. 2023 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.

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 24 Mar. 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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