Definition of ism
1 : a distinctive doctrine, cause, or theory
2 : an oppressive and especially discriminatory attitude or belief we all have got to come to grips with our isms — Joycelyn Elders
Examples of ism in a Sentence
Cubism, Impressionism, and other artistic isms.
ageism, racism, sexism, and all the other familiar isms
Recent Examples of ism from the Web
Even though the mostly colorblind story of economic dead-end-ism Vance tells apparently isn’t what really turned the election.
The question now is whether Ailes-ism -- as channeled through Trump -- can be a successful governing approach.
Lord's shtick is just another example of the remarkably phony everyman-ism emanating from the administration and its surrogates on CNN.
Margiela-ism is once again the religion in Paris fashion, kicked into gear by Demna Gvasalia, who began his career in the design studio of the Margiela maison and has imported the designer’s sensibility to Vetements and Balenciaga.
The election, the conflagration of isms that, one suspects, is but the opening act in our collective implosion, simply ratchets up a process that began with the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
The Trump-ism of the health-care reform, the Trump-iest parts of it, were transparency in pricing, competition across state lines. . .
The McCarthy-ism of liberals toward entertainment is quite hypocritical.
Like a fair number of Trumpists, Bauerlein holds some beliefs that might have been expected to incline him toward #NeverTrump-ism, including an abhorrence of vulgarity.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ism'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of ism
First Known Use: 1680See Words from the same year
Definition of -ism
1a : act : practice : process criticism plagiarismb : manner of action or behavior characteristic of a (specified) person or thing animalismc : prejudice or discrimination on the basis of a (specified) attribute racism sexism
2a : state : condition : property barbarianismb : abnormal state or condition resulting from excess of a (specified) thing alcoholism or marked by resemblance to (such) a person or thing giantism
3a : doctrine : theory : religion Buddhismb : adherence to a system or a class of principles stoicism
4 : characteristic or peculiar feature or trait colloquialism
Origin and Etymology of -ism
Middle English -isme, from Middle French & Latin; Middle French, partly from Latin -isma (from Greek) & partly from Latin -ismus, from Greek -ismos; Greek -isma & -ismos, from verbs in -izein -ize
ISM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of ism for English Language Learners
: a belief, attitude, style, etc., that is referred to by a word that ends in the suffix -ism
Definition of -ism for English Language Learners
: the act, practice, or process of doing something
: behavior like that of a specified kind of person or thing
: unfair treatment of a group of people who have a particular quality
-ISM Defined for Kids
Definition of -ism for Students
1 : act : practice : process baptism criticism
2 : manner of action or behavior like that of a specified person or thing heroism
3 : state : condition alcoholism
4 : teachings : theory : system socialism
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