GC: npl

S: (last access: 12 March 2013); (last access: 4 September 2014); (last access: 4 September 2014).

N: 1. victim (n.): late 15c., “living creature killed and offered as a sacrifice to a deity or supernatural power,” from Latin victima “person or animal killed as a sacrifice.” Perhaps distantly connected to Old English wig “idol,” Gothic weihs “holy,” German weihen “consecrate” (compare Weihnachten “Christmas”) on notion of “a consecrated animal.” Sense of “person who is hurt, tortured, or killed by another” is recorded from 1650s; meaning “person oppressed by some power or situation” is from 1718. Weaker sense of “person taken advantage of” is recorded from 1781.
2. Different meanings:

  • a living being sacrificed to a deity or in the performance of a religious rite.
  • one that is acted on and usually adversely affected by a force or agent (the schools are victims of the social system): as a (1): 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) (2): one that is subjected to oppression, hardship, or mistreatment (a frequent victim of political attacks). b: one that is tricked or duped (a con man’s victim).

3. Collocations:

  • Adj.: hapless, helpless, innocent, poor, unfortunate, unsuspecting, unwilling | easy | passive | willing | intended, potential | child, elderly | Aids, cancer, heart attack, plague, stroke | accident, bomb, crash, disaster, earthquake, famine, flood The government is sending aid to flood victims. | kidnap, murder, rape | sacrificial | fashion.
  • Verb + victim: portray sb as | claim | compensate | blame.
  • Prep.: ~ of They were the victims of a cruel hoax.
  • Phrases: fall victim to sb/sth | a victim of your/its own success.

S: 1. OED – (last access: 4 September 2014). 2. MW – (last access: 10 June 2015). 3. (last access: 10 June 2015).


CR: humanitarian aid