ism

play
noun \ˈi-zəm\

Definition of ism

  1. 1 :  a distinctive doctrine, cause, or theory

  2. 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

  1. Cubism, Impressionism, and other artistic isms.

  2. ageism, racism, sexism, and all the other familiar isms

Recent Examples of ism from the Web

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

-ism


-ism

noun suffix

Definition of -ism

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 3a :  doctrine :  theory :  religion Buddhismb :  adherence to a system or a class of principles stoicism

  4. 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

ism

play
noun

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

-ism

noun suffix

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

-ism

noun suffix \ˌi-zəm\

Definition of -ism for Students

  1. 1 :  act :  practice :  process baptism criticism

  2. 2 :  manner of action or behavior like that of a specified person or thing heroism

  3. 3 :  state :  condition alcoholism

  4. 4 :  teachings :  theory :  system socialism

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lacking social experience or grace

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