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[iz-uh m] /ˈɪz əm/
a distinctive doctrine, theory, system, or practice:
This is the age of isms.
Origin of ism
extracted from words with the suffix -ism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for isms
Historical Examples
  • You forget I'm a bundle of 'isms,' and in practice one can only be true to one at a time.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill
  • All the mutually contradictory 'isms' unite in a higher synthesis.

    Cleo The Magnificent

    Louis Zangwill
  • Odd religious sects and strange "isms" were to be found in the back-country.

    Union and Democracy

    Allen Johnson
  • There were no high up "isms" or "ologies" for girls in those days.

    A Little Girl in Old Salem

    Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • After wearying the readers on this and numerous other 'isms,' it was discontinued.

    Hidden Treasures

    Harry A. Lewis
  • His taste drew him to the Church, so did a love of opposition to current 'isms.'

    Robert Elsmere Mrs. Humphry Ward
  • Alas, compared with any of the isms current in these poor days, what a thing!

    Past and Present Thomas Carlyle
  • This stuffed rump of mine saves not me only from rheumatism, but you also from what other isms!

    Past and Present Thomas Carlyle
  • I warn you against the danger of becoming addicted to fads and isms.

    A Romantic Young Lady

    Robert Grant
  • Of all the isms of the day altruism is far the noblest and most promising.

    Man And His Ancestor Charles Morris
British Dictionary definitions for isms


(informal, often derogatory) an unspecified doctrine, system, or practice


interstellar medium
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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