class·​ism ˈkla-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce classism (audio)
: 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
: 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 classismSarah Lucia Hoagland
classist adjective

Examples of classism in a Sentence

a society plagued by racism and classism
Recent Examples on the Web This space amplifies and continues to celebrate generations of beauty rituals and wellness practices, while tackling important topics like Black beauty and classism, desirability politics, and decolonizing clean beauty. Cassandra Pintro, Vogue, 30 Aug. 2023 The comparison between the two in their tailored but disparate suiting clearly illustrates the classism and corruption that Perry is up against, while helping Rhys with his performance. Fawnia Soo Hoo, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 Aug. 2023 Under its elegant surface, The Lesson takes on heavy issues of art, inspiration, classism, sexism, betrayal and revenge in one beautiful, impressive little package. Caryn James, The Hollywood Reporter, 13 June 2023 For another half-hour, Mr. Sarkar makes a largely upper-caste audience laugh at jokes about the discrimination Dalits face and the classism that exists in elite Indian circles. Qadri Inzamam, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 Oct. 2022 Dance world classism is so entrenched, it’s begun to affect the artists themselves. Kat Bein, Billboard, 27 Mar. 2023 The character was born from a desire to expose the hypocrisy of classism and cultural appropriation amid a public debate over U.K. drill — a subgenre of hip-hop music that British authorities have tried to censor, blaming it for a rise in knife crimes in London. New York Times, 9 Apr. 2021 But, for me, university was what actually exposed me to classism. Simran Johal,, 16 May 2022 Despite some genuine jump scares, the most unsettling thing about it is the ingrained classism encountered by its heroine Aisha (Diop), a Senegalese teacher who takes on the job of child care for a privileged and clueless wealthy White couple (Monaghan and Spector) on New York’s Upper East Side. Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post, 3 Nov. 2022 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'classism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1842, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of classism was in 1842

Dictionary Entries Near classism

Cite this Entry

“Classism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Nov. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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