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 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

Anti-ageism activists think the call for generational change is getting old., "Anti-ageism activists bristle at Julián Castro’s question to Joe Biden: ‘Are you forgetting what you said 2 minutes ago?’ - The Boston Globe," 14 Sep. 2019 And ageism is much worse for women, who also live longer and have more of the money. Neil Senturia, San Diego Union-Tribune, "If you can do the job, who cares if you have white hair or no hair?," 7 Sep. 2019 The role hit many buttons for Light: Sherrell is a soap opera star, much as Light was for a good portion of her career, and is fighting ageism within the industry. David Canfield,, "Judith Light: 'I'm coming into the best years of my life'," 30 Aug. 2019 But ageism is one of the many -isms that have been rightfully put out to pasture in the modern era. James Sullivan,, "Coming this summer, all the old dudes," 27 June 2019 But would Madonna know of the recent lawsuits against IBM, Citibank, and IKEA, brought by former employees who allege ageism cost them their jobs? Lila Maclellan, Quartz at Work, "Madonna has a message about aging and work that you probably need to hear," 8 June 2019 The artist is on the road to celebrate turning 50 in July, a landmark occasion worthy of a grand fête, though in the entertainment world, sexism and ageism have hampered careers. Althea Legaspi,, "Review: Jennifer Lopez in high-octane party mode at United Center," 30 June 2019 McCririck blamed his sacking on ageism and took Channel 4 to an employment tribunal, but his case was rejected. Matthew Robinson, CNN, "Horse racing pundit John McCririck dead at 79," 5 July 2019 This pattern reflects a type of ageism that men in the media industry rarely have to deal with. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "These news anchors say their bosses are grooming younger women who look like them to take their jobs," 20 June 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.

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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

18 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for ageism

The first known use of ageism was in 1969

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with ageism

Britannica English: Translation of ageism for Arabic Speakers

Comments on ageism

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miscellaneous remnants or debris

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