Home > V Words > victimless crime

victimless crime

Definition of Victimless Crime

(noun) A crime that is against the law but that only harms the individuals who consented to engage in it.

Examples of Victimless Crime

  • Gambling, prostitution, and recreational drug use are typically discussed as possible victimless crimes. However, whether they actually are “victimless” is debated.

Etymology of Victimless Crime

Victimless Crime Pronunciation

  • IPA Pronunciation
    • American English
      • /vɪktᵻmlɪs kraɪm/
    • British English
      • /vɪktɪmlɪs krʌɪm/
  • Syllabification: (vic·tim·less crime)

Usage Notes

Additional Information

Related Terms


Works Consulted

Andersen, Margaret L., and Howard Francis Taylor. 2011. Sociology: The Essentials. 6th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Briggs, Steven M., and Joan Friedman. 2009. Criminology For Dummies. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

Brinkerhoff, David, Lynn White, Suzanne Ortega, and Rose Weitz. 2011. Essentials of Sociology. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Brym, Robert J., and John Lie. 2007. Sociology: Your Compass for a New World. 3rd ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Collins English Dictionary: Complete and Unabridged. 6th ed. 2003. Glasgow, Scotland: Collins.

Griffiths, Heather, Nathan Keirns, Eric Strayer, Susan Cody-Rydzewski, Gail Scaramuzzo, Tommy Sadler, Sally Vyain, Jeff Bry, Faye Jones. 2016. Introduction to Sociology 2e. Houston, TX: OpenStax.

Hughes, Michael, and Carolyn J. Kroehler. 2011. Sociology: The Core. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Kendall, Diana. 2011. Sociology in Our Times. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Macionis, John. 2012. Sociology. 14th ed. Boston: Pearson.

Schaefer, Richard. 2013. Sociology: A Brief Introduction. 10th ed. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Siegel, Larry J., and Clemens Bartollas. 2011. Corrections Today. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Siegel, Larry J., and John L. Worrall. 2012. Introduction to Criminal Justice. 13th ed. Belmont: CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Siegel, Larry J., and John L. Worrall. 2013. Essentials of Criminal Justice. 8th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.

Taylor & Francis. (N.d.) Routledge Handbooks Online. (https://www.routledgehandbooks.com/).

Tischler, Henry L. 2011. Introduction to Sociology. 10th ed. Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Wikipedia contributors. (N.d.) Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary. Wikimedia Foundation. (http://en.wiktionary.org).

Wiley. (N.d.) Wiley Online Library. (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/).

Cite the Definition of Victimless Crime

ASA – American Sociological Association (5th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “victimless crime.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Retrieved October 16, 2019 (https://sociologydictionary.org/victimless-crime/).

APA – American Psychological Association (6th edition)

victimless crime. (2013). In K. Bell (Ed.), Open education sociology dictionary. Retrieved from https://sociologydictionary.org/victimless-crime/

Chicago/Turabian: Author-Date – Chicago Manual of Style (16th edition)

Bell, Kenton, ed. 2013. “victimless crime.” In Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Accessed October 16, 2019. https://sociologydictionary.org/victimless-crime/.

MLA – Modern Language Association (7th edition)

“victimless crime.” Open Education Sociology Dictionary. Ed. Kenton Bell. 2013. Web. 16 Oct. 2019. <https://sociologydictionary.org/victimless-crime/>.