an·​ar·​chism | \ ˈa-nər-ˌki-zəm How to pronounce anarchism (audio) , -ˌnär- \

Definition of anarchism

1 : a political theory holding all forms of governmental authority to be unnecessary and undesirable and advocating a society based on voluntary cooperation and free association of individuals and groups
2 : the advocacy or practice of anarchistic principles

Examples of anarchism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But alongside Chile’s institutional habits runs a current of anarchism and bohemianism. Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker, 6 June 2022 Caserta had a red and black anarchist flag draped on his living room wall, and had books related to practicing anarchism. Arpan Lobo, Detroit Free Press, 29 Mar. 2022 The Boogaloo Bois’ flavor of libertarian, anti-law-enforcement anarchism can be hard to peg on the left-right political spectrum. Tim Dickinson, Rolling Stone, 20 Mar. 2022 The book is full of anarchism and vitriol with regard to land use, not to mention Abbey’s signature bluntness and wry, dry humor. John Mcphee, The New Yorker, 31 Jan. 2022 Is anarchism feasible in a society of any considerable size or complexity, where coordination, authority, and expertise are essential? George Scialabba, The New Republic, 1 Nov. 2021 These are questions that Graeber, a committed anarchist—an exponent not of anarchy but of anarchism, the idea that people can get along perfectly well without governments—asked throughout his career. William Deresiewicz, The Atlantic, 18 Oct. 2021 The Dawn of Everything is not a brief for anarchism, though anarchist values—antiauthoritarianism, participatory democracy, small-c communism—are everywhere implicit in it. William Deresiewicz, The Atlantic, 18 Oct. 2021 Banksy attributed the quotation to Pablo Picasso, but it was actually said by Mikhail Bakunin, a 19th century Russian who was a leading theorist of anarchism. NBC News, 14 Oct. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of anarchism

circa 1656, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for anarchism

anarchy + -ism; as a political theory after French anarchisme

Note: See note at anarchist.

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The first known use of anarchism was circa 1656

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Last Updated

14 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Anarchism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Jul. 2022.

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