Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

racism

play
noun rac·ism \ˈrā-ˌsi-zəm also -ˌshi-\

Simple Definition of racism

  • : poor treatment of or violence against people because of their race

  • : the belief that some races of people are better than others

Full Definition of racism

  1. 1 :  a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race

  2. 2 :  racial prejudice or discrimination

rac·ist play \-sist also -shist\ noun or adjective

Examples of racism

  1. The recording career of the Henderson band was brief … due partly to the racism of booking agencies that didn't take on black acts until the mid-'30s, when Henderson's career was on the downswing. —Greg Tate, Vibe, April 1995

  2. Today, Hawaii has one of the most diverse populations anywhere. Each group has its own stories of prejudice and opportunities limited by racism. —Jill Center, San Francisco Chronicle, 16 Mar. 1995

  3. the racism that was the basis of apartheid

  4. <Hitler's declaration of his belief in a master race was an indication of the inherent racism of the Nazi movement.>



1933

First Known Use of racism

1933


RACISM Defined for Kids

racism

play
noun rac·ism \ˈrā-ˌsi-zəm\

Definition of racism

  1. 1 :  belief that certain races of people are by birth and nature superior to others

  2. 2 :  discrimination or hatred based on race





Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

February 10, 2016

to put in good humor

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

kittly-benders spindrift pince-nez duvet
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ