in·​ter·​sec·​tion·​al·​i·​ty ˌin-tər-ˌsek-shə-ˈna-lə-tē How to pronounce intersectionality (audio)
: the complex, cumulative way in which the effects of multiple forms of discrimination (such as racism, sexism, and classism) combine, overlap, or intersect especially in the experiences of marginalized individuals or groups
[Kimberlé] Crenshaw introduced the theory of intersectionality, the idea that when it comes to thinking about how inequalities persist, categories like gender, race, and class are best understood as overlapping and mutually constitutive rather than isolated and distinct.Adia Harvey Wingfield

Examples of intersectionality in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web And while the formats vary, the common denominator centers on foregrounding the intersectionality of their identities as 21st century visual creators. Amy Carleton, Charlotte Observer, 29 Feb. 2024 Tell me about how this intersectionality of gender and race has impacted you. ABC News, 7 Feb. 2024 The house and field slave system created a huge divide amongst Black people that still exists based on the intersectionality between skin tone and socioeconomic status. Maya Richard-Craven, Forbes, 13 Feb. 2024 However, that type of logical thinking seems increasingly lost in this time of world intersectionality. Daniel Markind, Forbes, 29 Feb. 2024 The two of them talk constantly about how initially compelling concepts like intersectionality have turned into rhetorical class markers. Thomas Chatterton Williams, The Atlantic, 9 Feb. 2024 The complicated dynamics created by intersectionality and real or apparent allyship become increasingly resonant in both time frames — all the more so because of this cast’s ability to suggest nuanced unease, suspicion and second-guessing. Celia Wren, Washington Post, 7 Nov. 2023 With the Grammys just around the corner, the report assessed the intersectionality of gender, race and ethnicity across 12 years of nominations and found that 52% of women nominees were white and 47% were from an underrepresented racial or ethnic group. Thania Garcia, Variety, 30 Jan. 2024 Existing nutrition programs need to be transformed for a broad focus on intersectionality and food justice. Nisha Patel, STAT, 27 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'intersectionality.' 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

1989, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of intersectionality was in 1989

Dictionary Entries Near intersectionality

Cite this Entry

“Intersectionality.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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