to·​ken·​ism | \ ˈtō-kə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce tokenism (audio) \

Definition of tokenism

: the policy or practice of making only a symbolic effort (as to desegregate)

Examples of tokenism in a Sentence

Did the company choose her for her merits, or merely as an act of tokenism?
Recent Examples on the Web The Commission had no interest or capacity to advocate for reforms to improve women's lives beyond tokenism, and the members were utterly uninterested in addressing the rights of non-nationals. Carmen Geha, CNN, 14 May 2022 Does the barrier shatter and permit tokenism to be exchanged for a lasting Hollywood currency and legacy? Richard Newby, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 July 2022 Mugambwa, the Ugandan fintech managing director, says women still need help to make their way into leadership roles and board positions—their appointment shouldn’t happen as a result of tokenism. Faustine Ngila, Quartz, 8 June 2022 If diversity sourcing is a focus, ensure it is done along with improving equity and inclusion at the organization to avoid tokenism or bringing new hires into an unhealthy work environment. Jennifer Rozon, Forbes, 7 June 2022 In their initial conversations, Désir and Oiselle founder and CEO Sally Bergesen discussed how the company’s diversity efforts could avoid the pitfalls of tokenism. The Editors, Outside Online, 10 Nov. 2020 Along the lines of preventing tokenism, Kirkpatrick was eager to emphasize promoting accessibility awareness is not—and absolutely should not be—relegated to a mere one day a year at Adobe and anywhere else. Steven Aquino, Forbes, 19 May 2022 After the murder of George Floyd, it could be argued that tokenism has been on the rise. Janice Gassam Asare, Forbes, 1 May 2022 Is everyone finally welcome in the crypto community—or is this just non-fungible tokenism? Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, 18 Apr. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of tokenism

1960, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of tokenism was in 1960

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Dictionary Entries Near tokenism

token coinage


token money

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Statistics for tokenism

Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tokenism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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