to·​ken·​ism ˈtō-kə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce tokenism (audio)
: 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 fetishization of black outlawry is the new tokenism. Armond White, National Review, 20 Sep. 2023 But even in the past 15 years, an era with an unprecedented number of L.G.B.T.Q. characters and out artists, tokenism is still an accepted norm — a gay kiss in a Marvel movie or in a cartoon, 12 seconds (literally) taken to show that Sulu is gay in a Star Trek film. Mark Harris, New York Times, 6 Feb. 2023 But the show is clever in its sendup of those homogenous environments and never feels like an outsider’s guide to tokenism. Bethonie Butler, Washington Post, 12 Sep. 2023 What entertainment company harnesses the power of black women creators without using tokenism? Halliday: Hmm. Adrienne Gibbs, Forbes, 18 May 2022 But talking to the producers quickly dispelled his fears of tokenism in a splashy period reboot. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, 15 June 2023 Others say that in some instances the fashion companies' push for diversity is reduced to tokenism. Mona Kosar Abdi, ABC News, 27 Apr. 2023 Chatfield says that the producers wanted to avoid tokenism, as well as stereotyped portrayals of people of colour on the show. Alicia Vrajlal,, 20 June 2023 Following a photo shoot that felt more like a family portrait session, Chavarria and Apollo spoke at length about faith, tokenism and how to balance swagger with vulnerability. Juan A. Ramírez, New York Times, 8 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tokenism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1960, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of tokenism was in 1960

Dictionary Entries Near tokenism

Cite this Entry

“Tokenism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Dec. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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