Definition of stigmatize in US English:


(British stigmatise)


[with object]
  • 1Describe or regard as worthy of disgrace or great disapproval.

    ‘the institution was stigmatized as a last resort for the destitute’
    • ‘On the other hand, the person may recognize her difficulties, but not seek help because of embarrassment or fear of being stigmatized.’
    • ‘The routine aim is to disparage and stigmatize activities or sentiments that displease policymakers in Washington.’
    • ‘Larger women are stigmatized, especially with regard to sexuality and courtship.’
    • ‘On the other hand, fear of being stigmatized was a key reason that traumatized soldiers didn't seek help while still in the military, an earlier study showed.’
    • ‘Something I've had to battle to a degree is that, for some reason, some of these '80s bands have been stigmatized as being lame.’
    • ‘Safety and health regulations are stigmatized as ‘protectionism’.’
    • ‘Beginning with her mother, she was stigmatized as being a dupe of sinister communist plotters - as if she somehow lacked any authentic and genuine convictions of her own.’
    • ‘Instead, it stigmatizes innocent children, subjects them to acute embarrassment, and teaches them to distrust authority.’
    • ‘Proselytizing is stigmatized as cultural supremacy and for violating the principle that there is no need for other-worldly salvation.’
    • ‘The bureau needs to be exceedingly careful to avoid further stigmatizing someone whom prosecutors are not prepared to charge.’
    • ‘For another, it stigmatizes, as it regards the mentally ill as though they were criminals.’
    • ‘Most people have violated one or more important norm at some time in their lives, but most people escape discovery, are not stigmatized, and generally do not even regard themselves as deviant at all.’
    • ‘We tend to forget how often we have succumbed as a nation to a pervasive individualism that stigmatizes poor children and blames their families.’
    • ‘Gun laws stigmatize the mere act of buying a firearm with an embarrassing ‘background’ check.’
    • ‘Blake is stigmatized as a ‘Dead Man’ by the very act of embarking West.’
    • ‘Their conduct was unlawful and the auditor was right to stigmatise it as disgraceful.’
    • ‘Indeed, it may be fair to stigmatise the claim as a dishonest claim.’
    • ‘These are ‘isolated incidents,’ mental health professionals like to say, and focusing on them itself leads to stigmatizing the mentally ill.’
    • ‘So using law to discredit it, or stigmatize it, or just embarrass people who believe it and work to strengthen this connection, is likely to have a real impact on real children.’
    • ‘Many patients usually wish to conceal their condition as far as possible, to avoid embarrassment and being stigmatised by visible physical deformity.’
    discredit, dishonour, defame, disparage, reproach, censure, blame
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  • 2Mark with stigmata.

    condemn, denounce
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Late 16th century (in the sense ‘mark with a brand’): from French stigmatiser or medieval Latin stigmatizare, from Greek stigmatizein, from stigma (see stigma).