affirmative action

noun
Updated on: 16 Apr 2018
: an active effort to improve the employment or educational opportunities of members of minority groups and women
  • sought to achieve a multicultural staff through affirmative action
; also : a similar effort to promote the rights or progress of other disadvantaged persons

Recent Examples of affirmative action from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'affirmative action.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of affirmative action

1961

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
NEW! Time Traveler

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION Defined for English Language Learners

affirmative action

  • : the practice of improving the educational and job opportunities of members of groups that have not been treated fairly in the past because of their race, sex, etc.


Law Dictionary

affirmative action

noun
: an active effort (as through legislation) to improve the employment or educational opportunities of members of minority groups or women

Learn More about affirmative action


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!

WORD OF THE DAY

to treat with excessive attention

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

April 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • rain-on-rainbow-umbrella
  • Which is the best synonym of traduce?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!