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 The description includes a black flag emoji, which often symbolizes anarchism. oregonlive, "Who is the PNW Youth Liberation Front at the center of recent Portland protests," 3 June 2020 Start with the word salad of Marxism, anarchism, and existentialism. Matthew Walther, TheWeek, "'Imagine' is a bad, bad song," 4 June 2020 As Valerie’s life unfolds in a blur of expectations and disappointment—predatory men, particularly, lurk at every stage of the story—her anarchism is humanized, without losing its teeth. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "“Valerie” Is an Extraordinary Love Letter to a Radical Feminist," 1 Aug. 2019 Direct action is one of several key tenets of anarchism. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Anarchist Arya Stark: This Game of Thrones Meme Breaks Down Characters by Political Organizing Tactics," 21 May 2019 Photo: Alexei Druzhinin/Planet Pix/ZUMA PRESS Few foreigners display the devotion of Mr. Monson, a longtime adherent of socialism and anarchism whose many tattoos include a hammer and sickle. James Marson, WSJ, "An American Heavyweight Infiltrates Russian Politics—and the Russians Are All for It," 30 Sep. 2018 William Godwin, her father, founded philosophical anarchism; Mary Wollstonecraft, her mother, was an early feminist who wrote The Vindication of the Rights of Women., "The True Story Behind Mary Shelley Is Actual 19th Century Rock & Roll," 24 May 2018 William Godwin, an early advocate of anarchism, survived a great deal longer. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Poor Mary Shelley!," 23 May 2018 The murder mystery becomes entangled, at times awkwardly, with larger social issues like unionism, anarchism and the women’s suffrage movement. Marilyn Stasio, New York Times, "A Politician With Real Killer Instincts," 4 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of anarchism

1642, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of anarchism was in 1642

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Statistics for anarchism

Last Updated

25 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Anarchism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Aug. 2020.

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How to pronounce anarchism (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of anarchism

: a belief that government and laws are not necessary

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