able·​ism | \ ˈā-bə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce ableism (audio) \

Definition of ableism

: discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities

Other Words from ableism

ableist \ ˈā-​bə-​ˌlist How to pronounce ableism (audio) \ adjective

Examples of ableism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Curt Decker, the executive director of the National Disability Rights Network, said the COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted some of the ways that ableism in policies and procedures has impacted access to healthcare and safety for disabled people. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 2 Jan. 2022 Activists say that ableism -- the discrimination or bias against disabled people -- is at the root of this disparity and that misogyny puts women in greater danger. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 21 Nov. 2021 Whole books have been written about the exact nature and sources of the ableism. Andrew Pulrang, Forbes, 28 Oct. 2021 But ableism doesn’t always fall equally on people with disabilities. Andrew Pulrang, Forbes, 18 Oct. 2021 Aesthetic taste often becomes a smokescreen for ableism, leaving discrimination unquestioned. Lottie Jackson, CNN, 29 Sep. 2021 Thinking that the worst thing of all is to be mistaken for being intellectually or mentally disabled is as discriminatory and harmful as any other form of ableism, from any other source. Andrew Pulrang, Forbes, 26 Sep. 2021 Sia used Autism Speaks as advisors to her first film Music, which was widely panned for blatant ableism. Imani Barbarin,, 30 Aug. 2021 To pretend otherwise is fantasy while letting your ableism fly loud and proud. Steven Aquino, Forbes, 29 June 2021

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.

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First Known Use of ableism

1981, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ableism

-able (in disable, disabled) + -ism

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Time Traveler for ableism

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The first known use of ableism was in 1981

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Statistics for ableism

Last Updated

9 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Ableism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Jan. 2022.

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