pac·​i·​fism | \ ˈpa-sə-ˌfi-zəm How to pronounce pacifism (audio) \

Definition of pacifism

1 : opposition to war or violence as a means of settling disputes specifically : refusal to bear arms on moral or religious grounds For Quakers pacifism is a major tenet of belief.
2 : an attitude or policy of nonresistance efforts toward pacifism and civil rights

Examples of pacifism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Marko’s troubled relationship with pacifism both stems from childhood abuse and his fear of his own bloodlust. Shaan Amin, The Atlantic, "The Sprawling, Empathetic Adventure of Saga," 28 Mar. 2018 This issue has been contentious in Japan, where many people think seven decades of pacifism has served them well. Anna Fifield, Washington Post, "Japanese prime minister Abe, embroiled in scandals, faces calls to stand down," 16 Apr. 2018 But some in his party would contemplate a deal with the M5S, a movement that espouses pacifism and environmentalism, and contains many former civil-society activists. The Economist, "Italy’s discontentWhy the populists won," 8 Mar. 2018 This is even more true of Mr Corbyn’s quasi-pacifism. The Economist, "Jeremy Corbyn’s pacifist illusion," 19 Apr. 2018 Innovations around flight and technology, the impact of the influenza pandemic, pacifism, and suffrage are among the threads tying Framingham to WWI. Nancy Shohet West,, "A week of remembrances," 6 Apr. 2018 Fifty years ago today, one of the country’s most famous advocates for pacifism became one of its most famous victims of gun violence. Dan Sweeney,, "As Martin Luther King started advocating for widespread civil disobedience, he also lost his belief in firearms for self-defense," 4 Apr. 2018 Alvarado Quesada, who will be the youngest president in Costa Rica's modern history, used the campaign to appeal to the progressive streak in a country known for pacifism and ecological stewardship. NBC News, "Ruling party wins Costa Rican presidency with support for gay rights," 2 Apr. 2018 Not surprisingly, amid a well-entrenched national culture of pacifism, defense spending has not been a popular campaign issue., "Merkel's military revival," 29 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'pacifism.' 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 pacifism

1902, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for pacifism

French pacifisme, from pacifique pacific

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Time Traveler for pacifism

The first known use of pacifism was in 1902

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English Language Learners Definition of pacifism

: the belief that it is wrong to use war or violence to settle disputes

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pacifism

Spanish Central: Translation of pacifism

Nglish: Translation of pacifism for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about pacifism

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