If you stigmatize someone, you have given that person a label — and it's usually a label that is limiting in some way.

In Ancient Greece, a stigma was a brand burned into a slave or a criminal's skin to symbolize disgrace. In the 1500s, the word stigmatize meant literally "to brand or tattoo." Nowadays, to stigmatize is to shame or brand a person in a more symbolic way.

Definitions of stigmatize
  1. verb
    accuse or condemn or openly or formally brand as disgraceful
    “She was stigmatized by society because she had a child out of wedlock”
    synonyms: brand, denounce, mark, stigmatise
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    type of:
    assign a label to; designate with a label
  2. verb
    mark with a stigma or stigmata
    “They wanted to stigmatize the adulteress”
    synonyms: stigmatise
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    type of:
    make or leave a mark on
Word Family

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