age·​ism | \ ˈā-(ˌ)ji-zəm How to pronounce ageism (audio) \
variants: or less commonly

Definition of ageism

: prejudice or discrimination against a particular age-group and especially the elderly

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Other Words from ageism

ageist or less commonly agist \ ˈā-​jist How to pronounce ageism (audio) \ adjective

Examples of ageism in a Sentence

He accused his former employer of ageism when he lost his job to a younger man.
Recent Examples on the Web Often referred to as the most socially acceptable ism, workplace ageism has been on the rise over the last decade. Sheila Callaham, Forbes, "Employers On Notice: Signs Point To More Accountability For Age Discrimination," 27 Feb. 2021 Thank you, Pat Samples, for highlighting eloquently the issue of ageism. Star Tribune, "Readers Write: Taxes and budgets, growing older," 1 Feb. 2021 Unfortunately, ageism is a serious impediment for healthy and satisfying living among older people, and it is treated lightly. Pat Samples, Star Tribune, "Growing older is not awful; ageism is," 28 Jan. 2021 As a series that has never shied away from addressing real-world issues like gun control, ageism and immigration, the creatives concluded that COVID-19 would be a major storyline throughout the sixth season. Ashley Lee Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, "‘Heartbreaking, no matter what’: How ‘Superstore’ said goodbye to America Ferrera," 5 Nov. 2020 The Brzezinskis offered advice for women who—against the currents of sexism, ageism and COVID-19 woes—want to pursue ambitious new career goals or take a break. Halley Bondy, NBC News, "61% of women are looking to change careers amid COVID-19 ― Here's how to do it SUCCESSFULLY," 2 Oct. 2020 But the economic fallout from the pandemic may allow ageism to flourish. Lila Maclellan, Quartz at Work, "Mike Tyson’s comeback is a counterpunch to age discrimination," 16 Sep. 2020 In the 1980s, when the AIDS epidemic was full blown and end-of-life care for patients was primitive, a San Francisco social worker turned administrator had seen enough of the indignities of ageism and homophobia. Sam Whiting,, "Hadley Hall, AIDS hospice founder, dies at 87," 21 Aug. 2020 Progressive churches like mine, which faithfully fight for racial, gender, and economic justice, often fail to take into account ageism and the plight of people with cognitive impairment. Longreads, "On Vanishing," 14 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ageism.' 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 ageism

1969, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ageism

age entry 1 + -ism (as in racism)

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Statistics for ageism

Last Updated

2 Mar 2021

Cite this Entry

“Ageism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Mar. 2021.

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More Definitions for ageism



English Language Learners Definition of ageism

: unfair treatment of old people

More from Merriam-Webster on ageism

Britannica English: Translation of ageism for Arabic Speakers

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