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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from ageism

ageist or less commonly agist \ ˈā-​jist How to pronounce agist (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 Overall, the studies found that ageism was related to worse health on 11 measures. Alice Park, Time, "How Ageism Negatively Affects Older People’s Health," 17 Jan. 2020 Actors have to wage a constant battle against ageism, but Dunaway’s reported struggles with her lines at some performances are bound to raise the age issue in some circles. Don Aucoin,, "This was no happy homecoming for Faye Dunaway. Instead it was a demolition.," 26 July 2019 Women are harder hit by workplace ageism more than men, according to a new study. Halley Bondy, NBC News, "Why women in their 40s, 50s and beyond are a force to be reckoned with in the workplace," 17 Dec. 2019 That moment went viral, with social media citizens praising her Swarbrick for her nimble wit and others accusing her of ageism. Lateshia Beachum,, "AARP executive on ‘OK boomer’: ‘Okay, millennials, but we’re the people that actually have the money’," 13 Nov. 2019 Perhaps surprisingly, workers age 34 and younger reported experiencing ageism more often than workers 55 or older did. Khristopher J. Brooks, CBS News, "Nearly 60% of U.S. workers say they've seen workplace discrimination," 23 Oct. 2019 For some, the reaction only highlighted ageism and sexism in Hollywood. Halley Bondy, NBC News, "In the know: Women in the news 11/4 - 11/8," 8 Nov. 2019 When people suffering from middle ageism stop looking for work they are omitted from the unemployment data., "You're using a browser set to private or incognito mode.," 12 Oct. 2019 One of the big reasons for the creeping ageism is the Indian media’s unabashed focus on the age of new tech entrepreneurs, many of whom started up in their early to mid 20s. Diksha Madhok, Quartz India, "Indians love to respect their elders—unless they’re in the workplace," 26 Sep. 2019

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.

See More

First Known Use of ageism

1969, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for ageism

age entry 1 + -ism (as in racism)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about ageism

Time Traveler for ageism

Time Traveler

The first known use of ageism was in 1969

See more words from the same year

Statistics for ageism

Last Updated

6 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Ageism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for ageism


How to pronounce ageism (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of ageism

: unfair treatment of old people

More from Merriam-Webster on ageism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ageism

Britannica English: Translation of ageism for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ageism

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


See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

More Confusing Words—Quiz

  • cats on impossible timber
  • The magician ______ moved the selected card to the top of the deck.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Add Diction

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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