Definition of Feminism by Merriam-Webster

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

1 : the theory of the political, economic, and social equality of the sexes

2 : organized activity on behalf of women’s rights and interests

Other Words from feminism

feminist ˈfe-​mə-​nist How to pronounce feminist (audio) noun or adjective
feministic ˌfe-​mə-​ˈni-​stik How to pronounce feministic (audio) adjective

Examples of feminism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The social club’s employees have a story to tell about the company that sold the world Instagram-ready feminism.


Kaly Soto, New York Times, “11 of Our Best Weekend Reads,” 20 Mar. 2020
Attitudes toward feminism are even more hostile outside Mexico City.


Seth Harp, Harper’s magazine, “In Harm’s Way,” 2 Mar. 2020
This is the definition of radical feminism, Miron-Shatz explains.


Claire Gillespie, TheWeek, “How to raise feminist boys,” 27 Feb. 2020
After the resurgence of second-wave feminism, Representative Martha Griffiths reintroduced the amendment 1971.

al, “Is Alabama blocking the Equal Rights Amendment?,” 21 Feb. 2020
In the sixth episode of Shrill’s second season, the main character Annie (played by Bryant) attends a female empowerment conference that soon proves to be a cash grab at false feminism.


Gianluca Russo, Teen Vogue, “This Important Scene From Shrill Shows Exactly What It’s Like Shopping as a Plus-Size Person,” 3 Feb. 2020
Reproductive justice, Yancy said, is one modern way in which intersectional feminism is applied or demonstrated.


Steve Smith, courant.com, “Intersectional Feminism Discussed At River Bend Bookshop,” 22 Nov. 2019
Finally, amid the social upheaval, civil rights legislation and second-wave feminism of the 1960 and ’70s, the E.R.A. gained traction.


Lila Thulin, Smithsonian, “The 96-Year-History of the Equal Rights Amendment,” 13 Nov. 2019
Ironically Vox—which has made anti-feminism part of its platform—frames hard-line stances against migration as good for women.

The Economist, “How women are singled out for vile abuse for political ends,” 7 Nov. 2019

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

1841, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Cite this Entry

“Feminism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/feminism. Accessed 31 Mar. 2020.

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

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