ac·tiv·ism | \ ˈak-ti-ˌvi-zəm \

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

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Other words from activism

activist \ˈak-ti-vist \ noun or adjective
activistic \ˌak-ti-ˈvis-tik \ adjective

Examples of activism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But in recent months, white-collar employees of Silicon Valley have had a hand in political activism, too. Maya Kosoff, The Hive, "Google Employees Quit to Protest Company’s Role in Killing Machines," 14 May 2018 Humans' impact on the planet will become more apparent, so there will be a substantial rise in environmental activism. Aliza Kelly Faragher, Allure, "What Uranus’s Astrological Transit Into Taurus Means for Your Finances," 10 May 2018 In political activism, victimhood and agency reinforce each other: Someone becomes aware of their suffering, articulates it, then works with others to overcome it. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "The Centrist Grievance Against “Victim Politics”," 7 May 2018 While Google has always prided itself on an open and freewheeling corporate culture, activism is newer to other big tech employers. Joseph Menn, The Christian Science Monitor, "Silicon Valley employees increasingly push companies on ethics," 13 July 2018 And in between celebrating the Black college experience (specifically HBCUs), the first Black woman to ever headline the music festival championed Black bodies, feminism, activism, and her family, all while wearing a custom Balmain hoodie., "Beyoncé & Balmain Team Up — & 100% Of Proceeds Go To Charity," 10 July 2018 McKellen: Playing The Part, a new documentary focused on the life of beloved actor Sir Ian McKellen, covers dense topics like acting, activism, and aging. Nathan Mattise, Ars Technica, "In new documentary, Ian McKellen reflects on Magneto, Gandalf," 8 July 2018 His activism and advocacy across the globe—in particular his success in eradicating Guinea worm in Africa and Asia, from 3.5 million estimated cases in 1986 to 30 last year—led to the 2002 Nobel Peace Prize. Michael Paterniti, GQ, "Jimmy Carter for Higher Office," 26 June 2018 But Christian activism is hardly neutral terrain in the culture wars. Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "Have the Culture Wars Killed Christian Unity?," 19 June 2018

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

10 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for activism

The first known use of activism was in 1915

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