ab·​o·​li·​tion·​ism | \ ˌa-bə-ˈli-shə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce abolitionism (audio) \

Definition of abolitionism

: principles or measures promoting the abolition especially of slavery among the New Englanders committed to abolitionism

Examples of abolitionism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Emerson was writing amid a crisis of liberal democracy, when the fervor of abolitionism was starting to show its cracks and the politics of protest were being co-opted into mere symbolism and more self-interested agendas. Jane Hu, The New Yorker, 11 June 2021 Animal-rights abolitionists look for inspiration to the methods and the eventual success of classical abolitionism in destroying chattel slavery. William Finnegan, The New Yorker, 15 May 2021 Here Reynolds leans partly on his cultural interpretations, citing a transcendent search for harmony and order on Lincoln’s part that precluded abolitionism. Sean Wilentz, The New York Review of Books, 13 Apr. 2021 The district was a hot spot of abolitionism and the fledgling women-rights movement. Melanie Kirkpatrick, WSJ, 9 Apr. 2021 Following a centuries-long tradition of narrative and social commentary quilts, such as those promoting abolitionism, modern quilters use fabric to record history, tell cultural stories, and promote social justice. Susan Moeller, BostonGlobe.com, 11 Mar. 2021 Cullors also includes personal anecdotes and the lessons she's learned from her time as an educator and activist, as well as a brief history of abolitionism. Morgan Smith, PEOPLE.com, 25 Feb. 2021 Johns Hopkins University heralded its founder's abolitionism for nearly a century, but a reexamination of the school's history recently revealed that Johns Hopkins actually owned several slaves. Paul Best, Fox News, 10 Dec. 2020 This led them toward both women’s rights and the risky work of anti-slavery and abolitionism. Marjoleine Kars, Washington Post, 6 Nov. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'abolitionism.' 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 abolitionism

1807, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for abolitionism

abolition + -ism

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The first known use of abolitionism was in 1807

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Last Updated

19 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Abolitionism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abolitionism. Accessed 25 Jul. 2021.

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More from Merriam-Webster on abolitionism

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about abolitionism


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