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 Beau, whose real name is Justin King, also had a history of supporting anarchism and making statements that to many seem anti-Semitic. Anita Chabria, Los Angeles Times, "Effort to stem online extremism accidentally pushed people toward an anarchist," 30 Mar. 2021 In Portland, the PNW Youth Liberation Front is planning to protest Biden’s Inauguration Day and suggesting on Twitter that the country should end the presidency and embrace anarchism as symbolized by a black flag. oregonlive, "Oregon National Guard prepares to respond to civil unrest ahead of Biden inauguration," 14 Jan. 2021 America has experienced surges of mainstream anarchism, socialism, and communism, most profoundly during the late 19th century, amid the Great Depression, during the Soviet-American alliance of World War II and afterward, and in the 1960s. Victor Davis Hanson, National Review, "Where Did the New Mad Left Come From?," 15 Dec. 2020 The library is crammed with books about anarchism, occupation movements, the Paris Commune, utopias, territorial and peasant struggles. Isabelle Frémeaux, The New York Review of Books, "David Graeber, 1961–2020," 5 Sep. 2020 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

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

History and Etymology for anarchism

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

Note: See note at anarchist.

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Time Traveler for anarchism

Time Traveler

The first known use of anarchism was in 1642

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Statistics for anarchism

Last Updated

3 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Anarchism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Apr. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of anarchism

: a belief that government and laws are not necessary

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