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

Similar critiques about white privilege power dynamics have shown up in other notable causes, such as the feminist movement and progressive activism altogether. Ernest Owens, Vox, "What it’s like to be black and gay watching the Kevin Hart controversy unfold.," 7 Jan. 2019 Ultimately, Colectivo Moriviví would like to create a grassroots training program to teach muralism as activism to other young women. Raquel Reichard, Teen Vogue, "Art Collective Colectivo Moriviví is Painting Political Murals Throughout Puerto Rico," 4 Jan. 2019 The brand's designer and founder Kerby Jean-Raymond created the label in 2013 to meld activism with high-fashion. Alyssa Hardy, Teen Vogue, "We Need to Talk About Michelle Obama's Book Tour Outfits," 20 Dec. 2018 The People’s Intermediate Court in the central city of Wuhan announced the sentencing of Qin Yongmin, whose activism dates back four decades, on its official website Wednesday. Washington Post, "China sentences veteran rights activist to 13 years’ prison," 11 July 2018 Still, Alejandra seeks to permanently change this ongoing dark spot in our nation’s continued history through her defiant activism and powerful storytelling. Danielle Campoamor, Teen Vogue, "ICE Detained This Outspoken Activist. Here's What She Had to Say the Day Before a Judge Ordered Her Deportation," 12 Dec. 2018 Elegant and understated in his antiapartheid activism and his on-the-court manners, Ashe was as underestimated as Mr. Brown was intimidating. Jane Leavy, WSJ, "What to Give: Sports Books," 16 Nov. 2018 For me, educating yourself on the issues that strike a passion within you has always been the foundation of activism and civic engagement. Hailey Colborn, Seventeen, "Miss Teen USA Hailey Colborn On Why You NEED To Get Out There and Vote," 25 Oct. 2018 And if the rising interest in men’s rights activism and its adjacent ideologies — incels, the alt-right, white supremacists — is any indication, these kinds of lawsuits are likely to only become more common. Rebecca Jennings, Vox, "A men’s rights activist sued a women’s beer event," 24 Oct. 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

29 Jan 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).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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