verb \ˈbi-ˌkät\

: to refuse to buy, use, or participate in (something) as a way of protesting : to stop using the goods or services of (a company, country, etc.) until changes are made

Full Definition of BOYCOTT

transitive verb
:  to engage in a concerted refusal to have dealings with (as a person, store, or organization) usually to express disapproval or to force acceptance of certain conditions
boycott noun
boy·cott·er noun

Examples of BOYCOTT

  1. plans to boycott American products
  2. They boycotted the city's bus system.
  3. We boycotted companies that were polluting the environment.

Origin of BOYCOTT

Charles C. Boycott †1897 English land agent in Ireland who was ostracized for refusing to reduce rents
First Known Use: 1880

Other Economics Terms

actuary, compound interest, globalization, indemnity, portfolio, rentier, stagflation, usurer


noun    (Concise Encyclopedia)

Collective and organized ostracism applied in labour, economic, political, or social relations to protest and punish practices considered unfair. The tactic was popularized by Charles Stewart Parnell to protest high rents and land evictions in Ireland in 1880 by the estate manager Charles C. Boycott (b. 1832—d. 1897). Boycotts are principally used by labour organizations to win improved wages and working conditions or by consumers to pressure companies to change their hiring, labour, environmental, or investment practices. U.S. law distinguishes between primary boycotts, which consist of the refusal by employees to purchase the goods or services of their employers, and secondary boycotts, which involve attempts to induce third parties to refuse to patronize the employer. The latter type of boycott is illegal in most states. Boycotts were used as a tactic in the U.S. civil rights movement of the 1950s and '60s and also have been applied to influence the conduct of multinational corporations.


Next Word in the Dictionary: boyfriend
Previous Word in the Dictionary: boychick
All Words Near: boycott

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up boycott? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).