sex·ism | \ ˈsek-ˌsi-zəm \

Definition of sexism 

1 : prejudice or discrimination based on sex especially : discrimination against women

2 : behavior, conditions, or attitudes that foster stereotypes of social roles based on sex

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from sexism

sexist \ˈsek-sist \ adjective or noun

Examples of sexism in a Sentence

the problem of sexism in language

Recent Examples on the Web

Expect a sea change in the Latin music business as women both on and offstage assume leadership roles and fight back against an industry that is legendary for sexism. Jessica Lipsky, Billboard, "Latin Women Take The Reins: Insights From the Latin Alternative Music Conference," 13 July 2018 But there's still an undercurrent of sexism there, as if a young actress can only be talked about in relation to another., "Please Stop Calling This Actress "The New Jennifer Lawrence"," 3 July 2018 Only afterwards, according to Sinclair, Mason emailed Sinclair's Chief Technology Officer Delbert Parks with her allegations of sexism by Sherman. Eriq Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, "Sinclair Broadcasting Looks to Shed Responsibility for Sexual Harassment Allegations," 27 June 2018 The relentless demonization of Pelosi, who has reached the highest office of any female politician in American history, is partly fueled by—and an appeal to—sexism. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "The Republicans’ Desperate Obsession With Nancy Pelosi," 23 Apr. 2018 June has felt the brunt of Gilead’s extreme sexism as the rebellious handmaid of Commander Waterford (Joseph Fiennes)., "The Handmaid's Tale Still Has A White Female Privilege Problem," 11 July 2018 Debbie, the show makes clear, is all too aware of her business’ sexism. James Poniewozik, kansascity, "Netflix’s ‘Glow’ brings #MeToo to the 1980s," 3 July 2018 Unlike Patterson’s generation, younger leaders don’t hesitate to speak out strongly against abuse and overt sexism. Michelle Boorstein, The Seattle Times, "Thousands of conservative women behind the fall of Southern Baptists’ Paige Patterson," 10 June 2018 For at least 2,500 Southern Baptist women, Patterson’s attitudes are an example of a toxic sexism that the evangelical community needs to eradicate. Tara Isabella Burton, Vox, "Conservative evangelical women are calling out a leader’s sexism. It’s a huge moment for #MeToo.," 9 May 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of sexism

1963, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for sexism

sex entry 1 + -ism (as in racism)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sexism

Statistics for sexism

Last Updated

21 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sexism

The first known use of sexism was in 1963

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sexism



English Language Learners Definition of sexism

: unfair treatment of people because of their sex; especially : unfair treatment of women


sex·ism | \ ˈsek-ˌsi-zəm \

Kids Definition of sexism

: distinction and especially unjust distinction based on gender and made against one person or group (as women) in favor of another

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on sexism

What made you want to look up sexism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Food Quiz

Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!