One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Law enforcement undertaken without legal authority by a self-appointed group of people.‘the message here is not to encourage vigilantism’
- ‘From the moment of the judge's admonition, the nature of vigilantism in Montana changed.’
- ‘He plays the part of a sheriff who crosses the line from law enforcement to vigilantism.’
- ‘As he explains, vigilantism could often be considered a socially conservative form of violence.’
- ‘He says criminologists note the ease with which public hysteria can turn into vigilantism.’
- ‘I don't believe in vigilantism or the violation of anybody's rights.’
1930s: from vigilante + -ism.
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