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 Reed, who also volunteers with the Center for Public Secrets to advocate for reparations in the Tulsa Race Massacre, knows that activism is not without its occasional disappointments. Annie Geng, The New Republic, 4 May 2022 Racial-justice activism has been on the rise in the last few weeks, set off by a white nationalist group’s efforts to recruit members in Connecticut. Susan Dunne, Hartford Courant, 2 May 2022 Step back: Shareholder activism has been around for years. Julia Horowitz, CNN, 25 Apr. 2022 The Rule of Law is under assault, and judicial activism is the most pressing issue facing the courts. Arkansas Online, 25 Apr. 2022 Beard’s climate worries and anger over the extremely elevated rates of cancer and other chronic disease in his community led him into activism. Washington Post, 21 Apr. 2022 The shooting, in a school of largely affluent teenagers vocal about their political opinions, ignited a national gun control movement and propelled young people and some of their parents into sustained activism. New York Times, 4 Apr. 2022 Nhat Hanh plunged into anti-war activism after his return to his homeland in 1964 as the Vietnam War was escalating. NBC News, 21 Jan. 2022 Corado, for example, channeled his grief into activism and now politics. Los Angeles Times, 10 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

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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Time Traveler for activism

Time Traveler

The first known use of activism was in 1915

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Statistics for activism

Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Activism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on activism

Nglish: Translation of activism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of activism for Arabic Speakers


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