affirmative action

noun

Definition of affirmative action 

: 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

Examples of affirmative action in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Supreme Court has upheld race-conscious admission practices as recently as 2016, but affirmative action in higher education remains a contentious issue. Nick Anderson, Anchorage Daily News, "Trump administration moves to rescind Obama-era guidance on race in admissions," 3 July 2018 Women’s wins are the result of 15 years of electoral reforms, in which Mexico incrementally refined the affirmative action rules that compel political parties to nominate women. Magda Hinojosa, Washington Post, "Women won big in Mexico’s elections — taking nearly half the legislature’s seats. Here’s why.," 11 July 2018 His administration’s policy on immigration, foreign travel and affirmative action leave no doubt that Trump is unquestionably a bigot. Michael Harriot, The Root, "Donald Trump is Not Making White People More Racist, He's Making Them Act More Racist," 5 July 2018 But the unending conveyor belt of affirmative action plaintiffs means that the justices will never want for an opportunity to revisit their most recent take on the subject. Jay Willis, GQ, "The Trump Administration Is Hell-Bent on Ending Affirmative Action," 3 July 2018 The new affirmative action guidance could add to an already contentious fight over the next justice. Eric Tucker, Houston Chronicle, "Trump revokes Obama policy using race in school admissions," 3 July 2018 In a 4–3 ruling penned by Anthony Kennedy, the court upheld the University of Texas’s (modest) version of affirmative action. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Administration Calls on Colleges to End Affirmative Action," 3 July 2018 Opponents of affirmative action have found allies in the Trump administration. Deirdre Fernandes, BostonGlobe.com, "Harvard goes on attack to defend its admissions policies," 12 June 2018 Discussions of affirmative action are empty without the background of how these wealth disparities arose. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "What you should know about race-based affirmative action and diversity in schools," 3 July 2018

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.

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First Known Use of affirmative action

1961, in the meaning defined above

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14 Oct 2018

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The first known use of affirmative action was in 1961

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More Definitions for affirmative action

affirmative action

noun

English Language Learners Definition of 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.

affirmative action

noun

Legal Definition of affirmative action 

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

More from Merriam-Webster on affirmative action

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about affirmative action

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