mi·​cro·​ag·​gres·​sion | \ ˌmī-krō-ə-ˈgre-shən How to pronounce microaggression (audio) \

Definition of microaggression

: a comment or action that subtly and often unconsciously or unintentionally expresses a prejudiced attitude toward a member of a marginalized group (such as a racial minority) A digital photo project run by a Fordham University student about "racial microaggressions" features minority students holding up signs with comments like "You're really pretty … for a dark-skin girl."— Jinnie Spiegler There is a real and worthy conversation taking place in this country now, particularly among young people, around the idea of microaggressions—slight, often unintended discriminatory comments or behaviors.— Charles M. Blow also : behavior or speech that is characterized by such comments or actions … argues that the power of microaggression lies in its invisibility to the perpetrator, who typically finds it difficult to believe that he or she possesses biased attitudes. — Emily Skop

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Other Words from microaggression

microaggressive \ ˌmī-​krō-​ə-​ˈgre-​siv How to pronounce microaggressive (audio) \ adjective
microaggressive behaviors … the group quite clearly criticized his teaching as microaggressive. — Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt
microaggressor \ ˌmī-​krō-​ə-​ˈgre-​sər How to pronounce microaggressor (audio) \ noun
Even "microaggressions" websites themselves would be unobjectionable to some of their critics if they merely made the case that certain phrases and behaviors should be avoided. What these critics find objectionable are two other aspects of "microaggressions" culture: attempts to publicly shame "microaggressors;" and attempts to punish alleged "microaggressors" by reporting them to the authorities. — Conor Friedersdorf

Examples of microaggression in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web NBC Ways to affirm your success in a predominantly white world New research suggests that self-affirmation can be a powerful tool in mitigating the effects of microaggressions and negative stereotyping. Ellen Mcgirt, Fortune, "In His First Speech in His Own Voice, Sacha Baron Cohen Takes on Big Tech," 25 Nov. 2019 Incivilities and microaggressions against women of different social identities is reported far too often. NBC News, "4 realistic ways to avoid the gossip trap at work," 24 Oct. 2019 There are the microaggressions, the exclusion, the outright harassment. Allison Hope, Quartz at Work, "Can we talk about the fact that business travel still feels unsafe for 95% of LGBTQ people?," 3 Dec. 2019 Solang & Alan Ferguson, 2016) Solange's silky but firm anthem to reclaiming respect in the face of racial microaggression is complemented by a visual that Solange co-directed with Alan Ferguson. Billboard Staff, Billboard, "The 100 Greatest Music Videos of the 2010s: Staff Picks," 26 Nov. 2019 In some circles, this kind of advice giving is considered a microaggression. Amy Dickinson, The Denver Post, "Ask Amy: Mysterious photo invites ethical question," 5 Nov. 2019 Slave Play, the Broadway debut of 30-year-old playwright Jeremy O. Harris, takes audiences through microaggressions, white tears and cutting critiques of white supremacy different from nearly anything ever seen in mainstream theater. Miles Marshall Lewis, Essence, "Jeremy O. Harris's Broadway Debut 'Slave Play' Isn't For Everyone," 9 Oct. 2019 Wyatt, who is part of the group #DyingForAnswers, said minority and LGBTQ students face microaggressions, verbal, behavioral, or environmental indignities that communicate prejudice, every day at UA. al, "UA students to stage die-in, draw attention to race relations," 30 Sep. 2019 Trump’s actions sparked a series of back-and-forth microaggressions that taken together have brought the two countries to the edge of war. Pete Gelling, Quartz, "In the crisis with Iran, the US started it—twice," 21 Sep. 2019

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

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First Known Use of microaggression

1970, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for microaggression

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The first known use of microaggression was in 1970

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Statistics for microaggression

Last Updated

5 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Microaggression.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/microaggression. Accessed 17 Feb. 2020.

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