fem·​i·​nism | \ ˈfe-mə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce feminism (audio) \

Essential Meaning of feminism

1 : the belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities
2 : organized activity in support of women's rights and interests

Full Definition of feminism

: belief in and advocacy of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes expressed especially through organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests

Other Words from feminism

feministic \ ˌfe-​mə-​ˈni-​stik How to pronounce feminism (audio) \ adjective

Examples of feminism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Names like Beyoncé, and the Obamas, sit among movements like the second wave feminism. Darcel Rockett, chicagotribune.com, 25 Dec. 2021 She was also seen as flouting some of the tenets of second-wave feminism. New York Times, 9 Dec. 2021 Second-wave feminism had encouraged more women to enter the workforce, though not without societal pressure to feel guilt and anxiety about leaving their children at home alone, or in the care of strangers. Kaitlyn Tiffany, The Atlantic, 9 Dec. 2021 The episode was highly informative, mostly owing to Dodson, a then ninety-year-old stalwart of second-wave feminism who has since passed away, but one was left feeling more uncertain about Paltrow. Naomi Fry, The New Yorker, 8 Nov. 2021 The practice made another comeback during the 1990s, following the Anita Hill hearings and the rise of third-wave feminism; and then again in the wake of Donald Trump's 2016 election and the #MeToo movement. CNN, 31 Oct. 2021 Anti-Zionists portray Jewish self-determination as a unique evil, incompatible with feminism, as per former Women’s March leader Linda Sarsour, and racist, as per the infamous 1975 United Nations resolution and Black Lives Matter today. Elliot Kaufman, WSJ, 22 Oct. 2021 But with the exception of Poland, where recent protests have centered on women’s rights, the motivations of female protesters and activists in these countries have had little to do with feminism. Sophie Pinkham, The New York Review of Books, 27 May 2021 Interior Scroll became one of Carolee Schneemann’s most iconic works and one of the most important artistic representations of second-wave feminism. Sarah Hoover, Vogue, 3 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'feminism.' 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 feminism

1893, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for feminism

see feminine entry 1

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Time Traveler for feminism

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The first known use of feminism was in 1893

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Last Updated

16 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Feminism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feminism. Accessed 21 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for feminism


fem·​i·​nism | \ ˈfe-mə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce feminism (audio) \

Kids Definition of feminism

1 : the belief that women and men should have equal rights and opportunities
2 : organized activity on behalf of women's rights and interests

Other Words from feminism

feminist \ -​nist \ noun or adjective


fem·​i·​nism | \ ˈfem-ə-ˌniz-əm How to pronounce feminism (audio) \

Medical Definition of feminism

: the presence of female characteristics in males

More from Merriam-Webster on feminism

Nglish: Translation of feminism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of feminism for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about feminism


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