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[ab-uh-lish-uh-niz-uh m] /ˌæb əˈlɪʃ əˌnɪz əm/
the principle or policy of abolition, especially of slavery of blacks in the U.S.
Origin of abolitionism
First recorded in 1800-10; abolition + -ism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for abolitionism
Historical Examples
  • By Jove, if abolitionism can make your grandma run, I'll forgive it a lot!

    Pirate Gold

    Frederic Jesup Stimson
  • "Call it abolitionism, or what you will," replied his Senior.

    Red-Tape and Pigeon-Hole Generals William H. Armstrong
  • But then, perhaps, this offspring of abolitionism is no man-child at all.

  • I doubt not this is the kind of liberty at which some of the champions of abolitionism, viz.

    Abolitionism Exposed! W. W. Sleigh
  • Such is the danger from abolitionism to the slaveholding States.

    Slavery William E. Channing
  • There is a worse evil than abolitionism, and that is the suppression of it by lawless force.

    Slavery William E. Channing
  • But this is just what abolitionism has done in regard to slaveholding.

    A Defence of Virginia Robert L. Dabney
  • At the beginning, too, I suppose that his taking up abolitionism made him enemies.

    The Copperhead Harold Frederic
  • At all points we see, therefore, that abolitionism has to do with religion, and religion with it.

    Abolition a Sedition Geo. W. Donohue
  • It had been said that abolitionism was "quackery," only four years old.

Word Origin and History for abolitionism

1790, in the anti-slavery sense, from abolition + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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abolitionism in Culture

abolitionism definition

The belief that slavery should be abolished. In the early nineteenth century, increasing numbers of people in the northern United States held that the nation's slaves should be freed immediately, without compensation to slave owners. John Brown, Frederick W. Douglass, William Lloyd Garrison, Sojourner Truth, and Harriet Tubman were well-known abolitionists.

Note: Abolitionism in the United States was an important factor leading to the Civil War.
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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