[ 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.

Words nearby abolitionism

Origin of abolitionism

First recorded in 1800–10; abolition + -ism
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for abolitionism

Cultural definitions for abolitionism


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.

notes for abolitionism

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 Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.