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

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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

They were constrained by sexism in nearly every aspect of their lives. Zoey Grossman; Fashion Editor: Cassie Anderson, Harper's BAZAAR, "Uzo Aduba, Katie Holmes & Ieshia Evans Reenact Iconic Images of Social Change," 20 Nov. 2018 South Korea largely remains a deeply conservative and patriarchal society rampant with sexism both casual and overt. Youkyung Lee, The Christian Science Monitor, "#MeToo takes off in South Korea, but how far will it go?," 22 Mar. 2018 The behavior Carlson describes is typical of the kind of sexism, misconduct, and lack of accountability that university settings can foster. Ben Guarino, The Verge, "An academic reported sexual harassment. Her university allegedly retaliated," 12 Nov. 2018 Evert dismissed the idea of sexism, as did ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, The Guardian’s Kevin Mitchell and the Washington Post’s Nafari Vanaski. Matt Calkins, The Seattle Times, "Media too quick to label U.S. Open umpire’s calls against Serena Williams as sexist," 11 Sep. 2018 The sexism is less than subtle in Braniff’s recruiting ads (which was representative of the industry at that time): Age, height, weight, complexion, grooming, and physical attractiveness were unapologetically part of the evaluation. Michael Magers, Condé Nast Traveler, "Inside the Sisterhood of Braniff Flight Attendants," 31 Aug. 2018 Sadly, sexism, pedanticism and lack of consideration for other people’s experiences are an oft-mixed personality cocktail. Caille Millner, San Francisco Chronicle, "San Francisco has another chance to get rid of demeaning statue," 7 June 2018 Williams, who is no stranger to sexism in the tennis world, eventually lost the winning title to newcomer Naomi Osaka on Saturday. Lucy Wood, Marie Claire, "Women's Tennis Association Backs Serena Williams Over That Sexist U.S. Open Penalty," 10 Sep. 2018 This entitlement to always be catered to and be the most important people in the room even when others are be excluded and hurt is the root cause for sexism in our community. Shannon Liao, The Verge, "Two Riot Games employees depart after defending a women-only PAX West event to League players," 7 Sep. 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.

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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)

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Statistics for sexism

Last Updated

14 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sexism

The first known use of sexism was in 1963

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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

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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

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