1. (especially prior to the Civil War) a person who advocated or supported the abolition of slavery in the U.S.
  2. 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 abolitionists

revolutionary, advocate, opponent, activist

Examples from the Web for abolitionists

Contemporary Examples of abolitionists

Historical Examples of abolitionists

Word Origin and History for abolitionists



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

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper