Black Lives Matter


: a movement founded in 2013 to end white supremacy and support Black communities

Note: Black Lives Matter was founded by Black community organizers Patrisse Khan-Cullors, Alicia Garza, and Opal Tometi after George Zimmerman was acquitted of charges relating to his fatal shooting of Black teenager Trayvon Martin in 2012; the movement expanded as people reacted to police killings of unarmed Black people in years following. The name Black Lives Matter functions as a declaration that Black people's lives have as much value as white people's lives, and as a call to end systems and practices that challenge this fact.

abbreviation BLM

Examples of Black Lives Matter in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web During Black Lives Matter protests in 2014 and 2020, highway shutdowns across the nation disrupted business as usual and built momentum for the movement, while clarifying the systemic character of police murder by tying it to the destruction of Black neighborhoods due to highway development. Claire Ravenscroft, The New Republic, 21 Sep. 2023 Following the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement in 2020, Hollywood studios and networks vowed to further diversify the entertainment industry, but many of those efforts have since slowed down amid cost-cutting measures and ongoing labor disputes. Max Gao, NBC News, 19 Sep. 2023 After a Minneapolis police officer murdered George Floyd in 2020, many companies pledged financial support to and released statements of solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Santul Nerkar, New York Times, 19 Sep. 2023 Since Maren Morris burst onto the scene with her debut album, Hero, she’s stood apart from her peers by supporting the Black Lives Matter movement and LGBTQ+ rights, risks that her contemporaries in country music, adhering to the genre’s inextricable conservatism, will not take. Hannah Summerhill, Vogue, 15 Sep. 2023 For the past few years, the district has raised the Black Lives Matter flag, the rainbow Pride flag and the transgender Pride flag. Kristen Taketa, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 Sep. 2023 Ghanaian filmmaker Arthur Musah captures intimate moments: a teary move-in day, daily college life, participation in Black Lives Matter protests, and scenes with family back in their respective hometowns. Kajsa Kedefors,, 13 Sep. 2023 The day after Izzy died, some friends put Brittany in touch with the Utah chapter of Black Lives Matter, which offered to handle press communications for her. James Ross Gardner, The New Yorker, 13 Sep. 2023 Alan Moore says he’s pivoted his approach to sharing royalties, now opting to have DC Comics send them to Black Lives Matter. Abbey White, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 Sep. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Black Lives Matter.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

2014, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Black Lives Matter was in 2014

Dictionary Entries Near Black Lives Matter

Cite this Entry

“Black Lives Matter.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Sep. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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