(especially prior to the Civil War) a person who advocated or supported the abolition of slavery in the U.S.
a person who favors the abolition of any law or practice deemed harmful to society: the abolitionists who are opposed to capital punishment.

Origin of abolitionist

First recorded in 1830–40; abolition + -ist
Related formspro·ab·o·li·tion·ist, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for abolitionist

revolutionary, advocate, opponent, activist

Examples from the Web for abolitionist

Contemporary Examples of abolitionist

Historical Examples of abolitionist

  • The abolitionist charges the slave-holder with being a man-stealer.

    Slavery Ordained of God

    Rev. Fred A. Ross, D.D.

  • An abolitionist was something to despise, to stone out of the community.

  • Because of her reputation as an abolitionist, she had much resistance to overcome in the South.

  • I saw her coming out of that abolitionist meeting yesterday.

    Pirate Gold

    Frederic Jesup Stimson

  • Some of them he knew, and they took Jamie for an Abolitionist, but Jamie hardly knew what it was all about.

    Pirate Gold

    Frederic Jesup Stimson

Word Origin and History for abolitionist

1795, from abolition + -ist. In Britain, applied 20c. to advocates of ending capital punishment.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper