victim
Pronunciation
  • IPA: /ˈvɪktɪm/
  • (weak vowel) IPA: /ˈvɪktəm/
Noun

victim (plural victims)

  1. One that is harmed—killed, injured, subjected to oppression, deceived, or otherwise adversely affected—by someone or something, especially another person or event, force, or condition; in particular:
    the youngest victims of the brutal war
    victim of a bad decision by a rushed and overworked judge
    • 2014, Holger H. Herwig, The First World War: Germany and Austria-Hungary 1914-1918, A&C Black (ISBN 9781472510815), page 116:
      Flexibility, one of the hallmarks of German military doctrine, was a victim of the war.
    1. One who is harmed or killed by a crime or scam.
      victims of assault; the murderer's victims
      became another victim of the latest scam
    2. One who is harmed or killed by an accident or illness.
      a fundraiser for victims of AIDS; a victim of a car crash
    3. One who is harmed or killed as a result of other people's biases, emotions or incompetence, or their own.
      a victim of his own pride; a victim of her own incompetence
      the newcomer never managed to make friends, a victim of the town's deep distrust of outsiders
      a victim of sexism; victims of a racist system
    4. One who is harmed or killed as a result of a natural or man-made disaster or impersonal condition.
      relief efforts to help victims of the hurricane
      victim of an optical illusion; victim of a string of bad luck
      local businesses were the main victims of the economic downturn
      • 1970 March 12, United States House Committee on Education and Labor, Summary of Legislative Action of the House Education and Labor Committee for the 91st Congress (1st Session) / Educational Technology Act of 1969: Hearing, Ninety-first Congress, Second Session on H.R. 8838 ... March 12, 1970:
        To some extent the schools and colleges are victims of conditions beyond their control: rapid population growth and mobility, country; to-city migration, unpredictable economic and social changes wrought by technology, […]
  2. A living being which is slain and offered as a sacrifice, usually in a religious rite.
    1. (by extension, Christianity) The transfigured body and blood of Christ in the Eucharist.
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