sex·​ism | \ ˈsek-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce sexism (audio) \

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 How to pronounce sexist (audio) \ adjective or noun

Examples of sexism in a Sentence

the problem of sexism in language

Recent Examples on the Web

The temptation is to write Debbie’s response off to resentment (Debbie’s ex-husband cheated on her with Ruth), selfishness, naïveté or internalized sexism. James Poniewozik, kansascity, "Netflix’s ‘Glow’ brings #MeToo to the 1980s," 3 July 2018 In 2017, Jimmy Kimmel made some progressive statements, addressing the elephant in the room about Harvey Weinstein and praising the women who were standing up against sexism. Katherine J. Igoe, Marie Claire, "Kevin Hart Had an Emotional Response to the News He's Hosting the Oscars," 5 Dec. 2018 Photo by Jaime Lawson/Getty Images for USTA The US Open might be over for Serena Williams, who lost the women’s singles final Saturday evening, but her fight against sexism in sports is not. Emily Stewart, Vox, "Watch: Serena Williams calls out sexism in tennis after US Open loss," 9 Sep. 2018 When the band won the best international band award at the VO5 NME Awards 2018 - beating out the likes of the Foo Fighters, the National, the Killers and more - the sisters used their victory speech to speak out against industry-wide sexism. Travis M. Andrews,, "Like pretty much every industry, music has a huge gender wage gap — just ask Haim," 14 June 2018 Liani Reyna, the first woman member of the bureau's elite tactical squad, was honored Tuesday with a city award recognizing her fight against sexism and discrimination. Maxine Bernstein,, "Portland police sergeant honored for fighting sexism, discrimination," 3 Apr. 2018 At a Chanel show Tuesday, Geraldine Chaplin, daughter of the silent movie star Charlie Chaplin, welcomed protests against sexism and demands for equal pay. Washington Post, "France wants a stop to sexist stereotypes in advertising," 6 Mar. 2018 Williams spent a lot of her 2018 making huge strides for women athletes by speaking about sexism, sharing candid stories about motherhood, and even—successfully—challenging the rules of fashion in tennis. Julyssa Lopez, Glamour, "Serena Williams Calls Roger Federer the 'Greatest of All Time' After Historic Tennis Match," 1 Jan. 2019 Off the pitch, female reporters have been victims of sexism. Fox News, "FIFA wants fewer TV shots of 'hot' female fans in bid to tackle sexism in soccer," 2 Oct. 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

6 Apr 2019

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 How to pronounce sexism (audio) \

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

More from Merriam-Webster on sexism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sexism

Spanish Central: Translation of sexism

Nglish: Translation of sexism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of sexism for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about sexism

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).


not to be persuaded, moved, or stopped

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Words from Greek and Latin Quiz

  • roman forum
  • Which of the following months comes from a Latin word for “ten”?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

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!