ab·​o·​li·​tion·​ism | \-ˈli-shᵊn-ˌi-zəm \

Definition of abolitionism 

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

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Other Words from abolitionism

abolitionist \ -​ist \ noun or adjective
a leading abolitionist [=proponent of abolition] before the Civil War abolitionist policies

Examples of abolitionism in a Sentence

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First, his narrative largely concentrates on events in the North and Midwest, with a special focus on his alma mater, Wheaton College in Illinois, a hub of Christian abolitionism. Nancy D. Wadsworth, Vox, "The racial demons that help explain evangelical support for Trump," 30 Apr. 2018 If the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 had been a tipping point, then Uncle Tom’s Cabin was a hard shove toward abolitionism. Jared Brock, Smithsonian, "The Story of Josiah Henson, the Real Inspiration for ‘Uncle Tom’s Cabin’," 16 May 2018 Nineteenth-century freethinkers, such as Susan B. Anthony, were leading advocates of abolitionism and feminism. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Kanye West’s Bastardization of “Free Thinkers”," 3 May 2018 Indeed, most politically conservative white evangelicals actively fought every racial inclusion effort from abolitionism to affirmative action. Nancy D. Wadsworth, Vox, "The racial demons that help explain evangelical support for Trump," 30 Apr. 2018 Christian churches have historically been crucibles of leadership, voluntarism, and action for progressive social movements, from abolitionism to civil rights. Hahrie Han, The New Republic, "Building a Bigger Tent," 11 Apr. 2018 But Pinkerton’s abolitionism didn’t exactly make his agency progressive. Sarah Jones, The New Republic, "The Pinkertons Still Never Sleep," 23 Mar. 2018 Racial equality, women's suffrage and abolitionism are political views, too. Samantha Swindler, OregonLive.com, "Rainbow flag in classroom causes controversy for small Oregon town (Column)," 14 Jan. 2018 Sumner was the rare northerner who combined an anti-slavery stance with abolitionism and an absolute conviction in equal rights. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "In the Congressional Fight Over Slavery, Decorum Went Out the Door," 10 Feb. 2017

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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