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

Other Words from microaggression

microaggressive \ ˌmī-​krō-​ə-​ˈgre-​siv How to pronounce microaggression (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 microaggression (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 And many times, that impact can even feel like a microaggression. Teresa Hopke, Forbes, 24 Sep. 2021 Also, established leaders our science and engineering communities should tackle issues of bias or instances of microaggression head-on, rather than staying silent. Chandralekha Singh, Scientific American, 13 Jan. 2021 But to Dinh, the use of the term felt like a microaggression. Elena Kadvany, San Francisco Chronicle, 23 Aug. 2021 The microaggression veiled as an innocent question about a group whose name is an acronym for Niggaz Wit’ Attitude was asked a third time, this time by the mother who had abruptly ended her short conversation with me to wonder about her cat. Bernice L. Mcfadden, Longreads, 7 Aug. 2021 Retail politics can quickly become a master class in microaggression management, my colleague Jonathan Vanian finds. Jonathan Vanian, Fortune, 8 June 2021 The microaggression meditation invites us to pause and feel the impact of those incidents, easing the stress that can result from harboring emotional pain. Devyn Beswick, Bon Appétit, 24 June 2021 Beyond these more obvious types of unsafe behaviors, there is microaggression, gaslighting, lack of communication, lack of boundaries, lack of awareness and bias. Megan Martin, Forbes, 28 May 2021 In fact, that’s not even microaggression that’s outright aggression. Roy S. Johnson | Rjohnson@al.com, al, 25 May 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of microaggression

1970, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of microaggression was in 1970

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Cite this Entry

“Microaggression.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/microaggression. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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