discrimination

noun
dis·​crim·​i·​na·​tion | \ di-ˌskri-mə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce discrimination (audio) \

Definition of discrimination

1a : prejudiced or prejudicial outlook, action, or treatment racial discrimination
b : the act, practice, or an instance of discriminating categorically rather than individually
2 : the quality or power of finely distinguishing the film viewed by those with discrimination
3a : the act of making or perceiving a difference : the act of discriminating a bloodhound's scent discrimination
b psychology : the process by which two stimuli differing in some aspect are responded to differently

Other Words from discrimination

discriminational \ di-​ˌskri-​mə-​ˈnā-​shnəl How to pronounce discrimination (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Choose the Right Synonym for discrimination

discernment, discrimination, perception, penetration, insight, acumen mean a power to see what is not evident to the average mind. discernment stresses accuracy (as in reading character or motives or appreciating art). the discernment to know true friends discrimination stresses the power to distinguish and select what is true or appropriate or excellent. the discrimination that develops through listening to a lot of great music perception implies quick and often sympathetic discernment (as of shades of feeling). a novelist of keen perception into human motives penetration implies a searching mind that goes beyond what is obvious or superficial. lacks the penetration to see the scorn beneath their friendly smiles insight suggests depth of discernment coupled with understanding sympathy. a documentary providing insight into the plight of the homeless acumen implies characteristic penetration combined with keen practical judgment. a director of reliable box-office acumen

Discriminating Among Meanings of Discrimination

Discrimination has senses with neutral, positive, and negative connotations. On the one hand, it can refer to "the act (or power) of distinguishing" or to "good taste, refinement." These meanings, sometimes reinforced with modifiers (as in a fine or a nice discrimination), stress an ability to perceive differences as an index of unusual intelligence. On the other hand, when the perception of difference is marked by invidious distinction or hostility, the word (often followed by against) takes on very negative overtones, as in the senses "act of discriminating categorically rather than individually" (discrimination against women, age discrimination) and "a prejudiced outlook or course of action" (racial discrimination). The original, neutral sense of discrimination, "the act of distinguishing," came into English by the early 17th century, followed by the positive one associated with superior discernment in the 18th century. Discrimination in the "prejudice" sense has been in use since the early 19th century, almost 200 years ago.

Examples of discrimination in a Sentence

The law prohibits discrimination in hiring. He sued the company for age discrimination. the animal's impressive scent discrimination
Recent Examples on the Web As noted by The Public Health Advocate (PHA), an independent undergraduate publication at the University of California, Berkeley, people who menstruate face discrimination, harassment, and ostracization. Moms Helping Moms, Forbes, 1 May 2022 Both argue having a birth certificate that does not match their gender identity puts them at risk of embarrassment, discrimination, harassment or violence if they are asked to provide their birth certificate. From Usa Today Network And Wire Reports, USA TODAY, 26 Apr. 2022 Both argue having a birth certificate that does not match their gender identity puts them at risk of embarrassment, discrimination, harassment or violence if they are asked to provide their birth certificate. NBC News, 22 Apr. 2022 If one is familiar with Mexico's history with its own Black residents, the discrimination, violence and inequality aren't too surprising. Nicole Phillip, The Week, 21 Apr. 2022 The voices featured in the book share stories of discrimination and perseverance, inspiration and success, power and impact. Sfchroniclepr, San Francisco Chronicle, 21 Apr. 2022 Stigma, marginalization, discrimination, bullying, harassment and even violence can lead to feelings of isolation and rejection. Jen Christensen, CNN, 21 Apr. 2022 Marlee dealt with discrimination, barriers and closed-mindedness with such patience, elegance and grace. Kirsten Chuba, The Hollywood Reporter, 20 Apr. 2022 Employees complain about low wages, lack of opportunity, racial and gender discrimination, and dangerous work conditions — pretty much the same things that caused the sanitation workers in Memphis to strike. Washington Post, 5 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of discrimination

1621, in the meaning defined at sense 3a

History and Etymology for discrimination

see discriminate

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Time Traveler for discrimination

Time Traveler

The first known use of discrimination was in 1621

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Dictionary Entries Near discrimination

discriminating duties

discrimination

discrimination box

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Statistics for discrimination

Last Updated

5 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Discrimination.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/discrimination. Accessed 17 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for discrimination

discrimination

noun
dis·​crim·​i·​na·​tion | \ di-ˌskri-mə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce discrimination (audio) \

Kids Definition of discrimination

1 : the practice of unfairly treating a person or group differently from other people or groups of people The law prohibits discrimination against the disabled.
2 : the ability to see differences Police use a dog's discrimination of smells.

discrimination

noun
dis·​crim·​i·​na·​tion | \ dis-ˌkrim-ə-ˈnā-shən How to pronounce discrimination (audio) \

Medical Definition of discrimination

: the process by which two stimuli differing in some aspect are responded to differently : differentiation

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