Definition of victim in US English:



  • 1A person harmed, injured, or killed as a result of a crime, accident, or other event or action.

    • ‘One of the key findings of the survey revealed fear of being a victim of violent crime did not make it into the top three.’
    • ‘Last month funding was secured for another year to run confidential help-lines for victims of hate crimes.’
    • ‘The first two offences are committed only when a victim has suffered harm as a result of the criminal conduct.’
    • ‘I live in fear of being a victim of violent crime every time I step out of the door.’
    • ‘This foundation supports child victims of violent crime and sudden loss of family.’
    • ‘The Nazis who ran the camp tried to hide their crimes by marching their victims away.’
    • ‘He was all ready to shaft the asbestos victims as he had the workers and other accident victims.’
    • ‘Help groups have praised a campaign urging victims of domestic violence not to suffer in silence.’
    • ‘Some manage to avoid insurance payments to cover the cost of compensating accident victims.’
    • ‘Researchers at the University of York are studying the differing reactions of crime victims to their trauma.’
    • ‘Dr Lewis warned that victims of street crime could also suffer if public phones in the town were taken away.’
    • ‘It estimates that one woman in four now suffers as a victim of domestic violence.’
    • ‘The victim of deteriorating mental health in his later life, he died in a mental hospital.’
    • ‘I wanted to give priority to the defense of immigrant women who are victims of domestic violence.’
    • ‘Residents of North Yorkshire are half as likely to be the victim of a violent crime as people in the country as a whole.’
    • ‘More than half of all workers in the region's local shops have been the victims of violent crime, a new survey has claimed.’
    • ‘Tragic mums whose children were victims of gun crime were today gathering at a unique event to tackle armed gangs.’
    • ‘The victim he saw lying dead by a fox's lair would have been either a victim of a road accident or the victim of a youth with an airgun.’
    • ‘The stroke victim may suffer brain damage when people nearby fail to recognize the symptoms of a stroke.’
    • ‘Here is the man who is first to raise money or organise events to help victims of crime or the needy, a man with human compassion.’
    • ‘He also has the experience of saving many a life by rushing the victims of several accidents to hospital.’
    • ‘Also, victims of violent crime are having to wait far too long to receive their compensation.’
    • ‘He also helped set up the restorative justice scheme, whereby young offenders meet the victims of their crimes.’
    sufferer, injured party, casualty, injured person, wounded person
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    1. 1.1 A person who is tricked or duped.
      ‘the victim of a hoax’
      • ‘They are gulled by the oldest trick of all, the one that gets the victim to look somewhere else.’
      • ‘In a bid to prevent further victims being targeted, a new scheme has been launched with banks and building societies.’
      • ‘The latest MyTob email worms have adopted fresh tactics in an attempt to trick victims.’
      • ‘Malev has been the victim of a recent spate of bomb hoaxes and police are investigating.’
      • ‘If that had any influence on me writing this, then I have just been the victim of subliminal advertising.’
      • ‘An initiative to stop bogus callers preying on elderly victims has been launched in Basildon today.’
      • ‘I've seen it a million times in the clubs and been the victim of it a fair few times on the street.’
      • ‘The sheer expense of such an enterprise would mean the victim would never really suspect he was being tricked.’
      • ‘With embarrassment, feeling a fool, I admit I was a victim of a Nigerian fraud.’
      • ‘Among the victims he duped were people from Lancashire, Bury and Nottinghamshire.’
      • ‘Anyone who has been the victim of psychological mind games will feel a cold shiver of recognition.’
      • ‘Now fraudsters are applying similar tricks against potential enterprise victims.’
      • ‘But when he arrived in Delhi last July he discovered he was the victim of a hoax.’
      • ‘The counterpoint is that neat gamble; that all the victims have to do is ask if it's a trick.’
      • ‘The latest victim to fall prey to a false chain mail campaign is the Coca-Cola Company.’
      • ‘Michael Jackson is just one of the victims in this deadly game of diversion.’
      • ‘In the cleverest financial or art frauds the victims do not even know they were duped.’
      • ‘Hampshire police are launching a new campaign to cut down on the number of victims who fall prey to conmen and bogus callers.’
      dupe, easy target, easy prey, fair game, sitting target, everybody's fool, stooge, gull, fool, aunt sally
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    2. 1.2 A living creature killed as a religious sacrifice.
      • ‘Flower Wars were among the most important method of obtaining sacrificial victims.’
      • ‘The ritual slaughter is justified by the doctrine that the soul of the victim went straight to heaven.’
      • ‘Inside they discover a sacrificial chamber where the human victims look to have been consumed from inside.’
      • ‘The victim had been flogged with chains and stabbed with cut glass while tied to a black wooden table in the altar room of the church.’
      • ‘If not, and if some want to draw lots to choose a sacrificial victim, may they force everyone to join in?’
      • ‘The captives were then used as sacrificial victims to the gods of the victor; one ritual feeding another.’
      • ‘Legend records that at the dedication of the former some 20000 human victims were sacrificed.’
      sacrifice, offering, burnt offering, scapegoat
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  • fall victim to

    • Be hurt, killed, damaged, or destroyed by.

      ‘many streams have fallen victim to the recent drought’
      • ‘If accuracy and nuance sometimes fall victim to all this rhetoric, well, there's a war on, folks.’
      • ‘Adverse effects of high consumption levels, however, lead to Irish people falling victim to more accidents and violence, new research shows.’
      • ‘A 16-year-old boy was left with a black eye and facial bruising after falling victim to what appears to have been the first reported incident of its kind in the borough.’
      • ‘I am concerned that companies are falling victim to online commercial extortion and we are not being told.’
      • ‘A mother whose young daughter allegedly fell victim to the abuse condemned the BNP for turning her ordeal into a race issue.’
      • ‘If we adopt the stance that it's fine to disregard generalisations such as cultural relativism we may actually be falling victim to just such a thing.’
      fall ill with, be stricken with, become infected with, catch, develop, contract, pick up
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Late 15th century (denoting a creature killed as a religious sacrifice): from Latin victima.