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

Definition of ableism

: discrimination or prejudice against individuals with disabilities

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Other Words from ableism

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

Examples of ableism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Mooney’s new book, Normal Sucks, is part memoir, part letter to his children, part call to action against ableism and the cult of normal. Mark Armstrong, Longreads, "Normal Sucks: Author Jonathan Mooney on How Schools Fail Kids with Learning Differences," 18 Dec. 2019 Her memoir, too, encouraged me to ask questions: How does pervasive ableism affect the way our society continues to be architected? Jacqueline Alnes, Longreads, "On Representations of Disability: A Reading List," 26 July 2019 Educate yourself and do the work to uproot white supremacy, misogyny, transphobia, homophobia, ableism, and fat phobia/body shaming in yourself. Casey Johnston, SELF, "Ask a Swole Woman: How Can I Find Safe and Inclusive Gyms?," 23 Oct. 2018 Fitness culture in general can be a very toxic and intimidating space, often populated by ableism and fat-shaming. Beth Mccoll, SELF, "I Have Depression and Anxiety. Please Stop Telling Me to ‘Go for a Run’," 16 Apr. 2018 Sexism, white supremacy, ableism, and capitalism are fundamental parts of Hollywood and filmmaking as the gatekeepers have managed to maintain and support the oppressive building blocks put in place by their predecessors. Lara Witt, Teen Vogue, "The 2018 Oscars Seemed to Reward Alleged Abusers Despite #MeToo and #TimesUp," 5 Mar. 2018 Body-shaming, ageism, sexism, discriminatory dress codes, ableism. Jonathan Jones,, "Cam Makes His Move Off the Field," 20 Feb. 2018 One simple reason for this exclusion is the power of ableism. Alice Wong, Teen Vogue, "Disabled People Still Aren't Being Cast to Tell Their Own Stories in Hollywood," 8 Jan. 2018 Lorde's comments rankled a sizable chunk of her Twitter followers, who criticized her callousness and even pointed out that the statement reflected a certain level of ableism. Emily Mae Czachor,, "Lorde apologizes for autoimmune disease comment when describing her friendship with Taylor Swift," 20 June 2017

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

Time Traveler

The first known use of ableism was in 1981

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Statistics for ableism

Last Updated

25 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Ableism.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

Comments on ableism

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


to insert between existing elements

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