ac·​tiv·​ism | \ ˈak-ti-ˌvi-zəm How to pronounce activism (audio) \

Definition of activism

: a doctrine or practice that emphasizes direct vigorous action especially in support of or opposition to one side of a controversial issue political activism environmental activism

Examples of activism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Hollan is impressed with how the Parkland kids have thrown themselves into activism., "Aftermath of gun violence: 'It stays with you'," 3 July 2018 Onboard are the #MSDstrong band of changemakers thrust from suburban student life into activism. Tonya Alanez,, "Student activists on 'Road to Change' make Fort Lauderdale stop," 30 June 2018 If the economy doesn’t weaken, the wind will be at Trump’s back in 2020, despite historic Democratic activism and engagement. Tina Nguyen, The Hive, "Barack Obama Is Quietly Getting into the 2020 Race," 11 June 2018 To extend the amphibian analogy, this illustrates a combination of executive activism and congressional dysfunction that has been simmering for decades. The Economist, "Donald Trump’s powers are not quite as vast as his lawyers claim," 7 June 2018 The art world was one of the creative forces fueling the disruption, embracing the practice of female activism, trying to break the patriarchal hold on art, and tackling cultural inequality. Tiziana Cardini, Vogue, "In Milan, A New Exhibition Celebrates Italian Feminist Artists of the 1970s," 5 Apr. 2019 In 1969, a group of Native students stormed the island by boat, launching a 19-month occupation that sparked a chain reaction of Indigenous activism throughout the country. Delilah Friedler, Teen Vogue, "Activist LaNada War Jack of the Bannock Nation Details Her Time Occupying Alcatraz," 21 Mar. 2019 With all of that activism, some might think you’d be exhausted—but look at you, (and listen to you)—you know the secret! Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Prince Harry Just Gave a Powerful Speech at This Year's WE Day," 6 Mar. 2019 Soujar reflected on the movement in her Casablanca living room, looking at photos and newspaper articles about her activism, their colors already fading. Amira El Masaiti, The Seattle Times, "Morocco: Arab Spring anniversary brings reflection, beatings," 20 Feb. 2019

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

1915, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for activism

borrowed from German Aktivismus, from aktiv active entry 1 + -ismus -ism

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Statistics for activism

Last Updated

21 May 2019

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Time Traveler for activism

The first known use of activism was in 1915

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More from Merriam-Webster on activism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with activism

Nglish: Translation of activism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of activism for Arabic Speakers

Comments on activism

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


one that collects or salvages junk

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