Definition of boycott
- boycotting American products
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plans to boycott American products
They boycotted the city's bus system.
We boycotted companies that were polluting the environment.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'boycott.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
In the 1870s, Irish farmers faced an agricultural crisis that threatened to result in a repeat of the terrible famine and mass evictions of the 1840s. Anticipating financial ruin, they formed a Land League to campaign against the rent increases and evictions landlords were imposing as a result of the crisis. Retired British army captain Charles Boycott had the misfortune to be acting as an agent for an absentee landlord at the time, and when he tried to evict tenant farmers for refusing to pay their rent, he was ostracized by the League and community. His laborers and servants quit, and his crops began to rot. Boycott's fate was soon well known, and his name became a byword for that particular protest strategy.
First Known Use: 1880See Words from the same year
: to refuse to buy, use, or participate in (something) as a way of protesting : to stop using the goods or services of (a company, country, etc.) until changes are made
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