Definition of ism in English:



derogatory, informal
  • A distinctive practice, system, or philosophy, typically a political ideology or an artistic movement.

    ‘of all the isms, fascism is the most repressive’
    • ‘Some politicos cling to venal isms that stunt their own thinking and the growth of the nation, and delay the maturing of its democracy.’
    • ‘Values are a shared set of beliefs or creeds, convictions and ideologies, or a set of isms.’
    • ‘They don't go much for isms, either, just quiet happiness is all they're prepared to recognise.’
    • ‘There's no discrimination here in the Blogosphere; no isms to get in the way of writing.’
    • ‘A person should not believe in an ism, he should believe in himself.’
    • ‘However, the most controversial character is Kitten - a writhing mass of isms and chips on her shoulder.’
    • ‘If any of you have ever wondered what postmodernism is, or what any of the other isms are for that matter, then this week's column is for you.’
    • ‘What are tools, and what is the nature of their inherence in specific ideologies, isms, and worldviews?’
    • ‘Ideology was foreign, and impressive-sounding, and was to generate many books with chapters recounting the arguments of the various isms of which political debate is composed.’
    • ‘Seuss railed against the evil isms of his day - fascism, anti-Semitism, anti-black racism - with the full force of his tensile imagination.’
    way of thinking, school of thought, persuasion, creed, credo, doctrine, belief, faith, outlook, opinion, point of view
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Late 17th century: independent usage of -ism.