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ab·​o·​li·​tion·​ist ˌa-bə-ˈli-shə-nist How to pronounce abolitionist (audio)
plural abolitionists
: a person who wants to stop or abolish slavery : an advocate of abolition
Before going to England I had had no proper conception of the deep interest displayed by the abolitionists of England in the cause of freedom, nor did I realize the amount of substantial help given by them.Booker T. Washington
On the spectrum of abhorrent business practices, buying and selling humans, especially children, remains the gold standard. Yet modern abolitionists say it happens all the time.Belinda Luscombe
While with him at an antislavery convention in London, which shocked her by barring women as delegates, she found her ideal model in another delegate, Lucretia Mott, the noted Quaker abolitionist and feminist.Milton Rugoff


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: of, relating to, or supporting abolitionists or abolitionism : advocating the end of slavery
abolitionist writings
… the virulence of public reaction to antislavery activity in the East appears to have been a reason for the deployment of abolitionist resources and energies into the Middle West.Marilynne Robinson
… he was genuinely concerned with the poor, and an aggressive supporter of abolitionist causes and women's education.Jesse Sheidlower

Examples of abolitionist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web
Rebel Nun follows the story of Catholic nun and leading death penalty abolitionist Sister Helen Prejean, whose story was first captured in the 1995 film Dead Man Walking. Jack Dunn, Variety, 17 Apr. 2024 This wasn’t Muhammad’s first time stepping into Tubman’s shoes—the community leader regularly portrays the abolitionist, in addition to women’s rights activist Sojourner Truth, at schools and other events in South Bend. Rayna Reid Rayford, Essence, 27 Mar. 2024 See all Example Sentences for abolitionist 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'abolitionist.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use


1791, in the meaning defined above


1833, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of abolitionist was in 1791

Dictionary Entries Near abolitionist

Cite this Entry

“Abolitionist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/abolitionist. Accessed 19 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


: a person who is in favor of abolishing especially slavery

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