able·​ism ˈā-bə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce ableism (audio)
: discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities
ableist adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web That idea of not recognizing our own internalized ableism or complicity in it is key to where the conversation goes next. Rosie Knight,, 28 Apr. 2021 An opportunity to consider ableism and social expectations. Nancy Doyle, Forbes, 3 Sep. 2021 In short, the STEM education of most students with disabilities is a low priority because of ableism—biases and preconceptions that assume disabled students can’t succeed. Joshua Miele, Time, 16 Dec. 2022 In this lovely conversation, activist Alice Wong and science journalist Ed Yong talk about the diversity of the natural world, the senses of organisms, ableism in science, the strangeness and unpredictability of sensory biology, and more. Cheri Lucas Rowlands, Longreads, 15 July 2022 Structural ableism is baked into U.S. institutions, policies, and procedures, much as how other sources of bias have structural foundations. Steven Barnett, STAT, 3 Jan. 2023 Some feel validated to see their own experiences of ableism and neglect reflected back to them. Lindsay Lee Wallace, Time, 27 Oct. 2022 Disability advocates told ABC News that this is a moment for many to acknowledge the ways in which ableism has become the norm. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 26 Oct. 2022 Outside disability advocates also described the scrutiny of Fetterman's performance as ableism, a form of prejudice. Tal Axelrod, ABC News, 26 Oct. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ableism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History


-able (in disable, disabled) + -ism

First Known Use

1981, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ableism was in 1981

Dictionary Entries Near ableism

Cite this Entry

“Ableism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Mar. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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