class·​ism | \ ˈkla-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce classism (audio) \

Definition of classism

1 : a belief that a person's social or economic station in society determines their value in that society [Michael] Moore helped create the era of snark, but he also bore a lot of it, and much of the criticism of him carries a whiff of classism.— Jessica Pressler also : behavior that reflects this belief : prejudice or discrimination based on class … the show explores classism and white privilege by comparing how school administrators treat him, as a rich white boy from a family with Ivy League pedigree, versus how they treat Latina and working-class Moe. — Roxana Hadadi
2 : the systemic oppression of the lower class and middle class to the advantage of the upper class Further, this is one way to dismantle the power difference society's privileges grant us through such institutions as racism or classism— Sarah Lucia Hoagland

Other Words from classism

classist \ ˈkla-​sist How to pronounce classism (audio) \ adjective

Examples of classism in a Sentence

a society plagued by racism and classism
Recent Examples on the Web The play is recommended for ages 13-up due to the use of adult language and frank discussions of body shaming, classism, colorism and self-image. Luann Gibbs, The Enquirer, 27 Apr. 2022 The study argues that in these countries, both former British colonies, Twitter has reinforced divisions in conversations occurring both online and offline around power and racialized politics, panic buying, ‘othering’ and classism. Maxine Betteridge-moes, Quartz, 16 Mar. 2022 The answer is typical: the interstate, suburbanization, mismanagement, classism, snobbery, inflation. Mark Olsen Staff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 25 Feb. 2022 But her experience there didn't reflect those fantasies -- there, and at other universities in the UK, classism made students feel unwelcome and a lack of financial support left them saddled with debt. Scottie Andrew, CNN, 29 Jan. 2022 Is the show a critique of capitalism writ large or simply commentary about wealth inequality and classism in South Korea? Erik Kain, Forbes, 15 Oct. 2021 Challenging construction, Williams has created contrast that embraces tradition and Givenchy classism. Allyson Portee, Forbes, 5 Oct. 2021 Larry Miller’s turn as a surly doorman who makes Jerry’s life a living hell — first by taunting him over alleged classism, then by forcing him to stand in as the doorman to Mr. Pitt’s building—is top-tier guest-spot material. Larry Fitzmaurice, Vulture, 1 Sep. 2021 Soccer rivalries tend to spark from proximity or religious conviction or classism. Jeff Zillgitt, USA TODAY, 7 Aug. 2021 See More

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

First Known Use of classism

1842, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of classism was in 1842

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Last Updated

7 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Classism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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