microaggression

noun
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

These type of microaggressions occur too often on campus. Fox News, "College student cries 'bias' after receiving hello in Japanese from worker at campus restaurant," 20 June 2019 This phase of microaggression isn’t anything new for the group. Andreas Hale, The Root, "Sundance’s Tyrel Is Get Out Without Hypnosis or the Sunken Place," 9 Feb. 2018 Additionally, the show very pointedly includes imperfect characters: from microaggressions by almost everyone in the family to his blatantly anti-Semitic misogynistic uncle. Aamina Khan, Teen Vogue, "Ramy Youssef Wants to "Complicate the Conversation" with His New Hulu Series," 19 Apr. 2019 In an effort to reduce microaggressions in the classroom, students at Columbia University can now upload a recording of their name so their professor doesn’t mispronounce it. Caleb Parke, Fox News, "Ivy League tackles mispronounced names to reduce 'harm' and 'anxiety' to students," 27 Sep. 2018 Besides microaggressions and safe spaces, the chief villains in this tale are trigger warnings, which supposedly let students avoid hearing any uncomfortable ideas. Jonathan W. Wilson, Vox, "My students aren’t asking for safe spaces. They’re repressing past traumas to survive.," 12 Dec. 2018 The National Science Foundation pours millions of taxpayer dollars into intersectionality and microaggression studies to smoke out invisible STEM sexism and to promote diversity in research labs. Heather Mac Donald, WSJ, "Sorry, Feminists, Men Are Better at Scrabble," 16 Nov. 2018 Now that microaggressions like these are being brought to light on social media, the conversation is opening up. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Shopping While Black: Why I’m No Longer Afraid to Call Time on Racial Profiling," 29 Aug. 2018 But our sessions took a weird turn when some of my anxiety about my income and struggle with friends and family intersected with racial oppression and microaggressions. Jacy Topps, Glamour, "Why I'll Be Choosing My Next Therapist by Race," 30 May 2018

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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