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 Although Cincinnati was a stronghold of abolitionism, and Duncanson found great success painting for a white patronage, racial animosity intensified as the decade wore on. John Wilmerding, WSJ, 2 Sep. 2022 On New Year’s Day 1831, a youthful New England newspaperman with a political bent launched his latest venture in social reform, promising a new era in American abolitionism. Marc M. Arkin, WSJ, 6 Feb. 2022 Surely, abolitionism had a moral force greater than the sum of its flawed parts. Marc M. Arkin, WSJ, 6 Feb. 2022 While New England’s image has been linked in popular culture to abolitionism, the report said, wealthy plantation owners and Harvard were mutually dependent. New York Times, 26 Apr. 2022 Finkelman, an expert on American slavery, said New York played a key role in abolishing slavery on a state level long before the 1830s, at the height of abolitionism. Giselle Rhoden, CNN, 27 Feb. 2022 History vindicated Douglass’s decision to throw his energies behind political abolitionism. Marc M. Arkin, WSJ, 6 Feb. 2022 Thanksgiving was rejected by the South as a form of crypto-abolitionism because of its association with New England, and specifically with New England Protestants. Liza Featherstone, The New Republic, 25 Nov. 2021 The contours of this shift are discernible in the rise of ardent moral reforms with wider geographic range, such as abolitionism, the defense of the Cherokees, and women’s participation in the petitioning of Congress. Mark Greif, The Atlantic, 9 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

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

11 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Abolitionism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abolitionism. Accessed 24 Sep. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on abolitionism

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about abolitionism

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