View synonyms for activism


[ ak-tuh-viz-uhm ]


  1. the doctrine or practice of vigorous action or involvement as a means of achieving political or other goals, sometimes by demonstrations, protests, etc.
  2. Philosophy.
    1. a theory that the essence of reality is pure activity, especially spiritual activity, or process.
    2. a theory that the relationship between the mind and the objects of perception depends upon the action of the mind.


/ ˈæktɪˌvɪzəm /


  1. a policy of taking direct and often militant action to achieve an end, esp a political or social one

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Derived Forms

  • ˈactivist, noun
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Word History and Origins

Origin of activism1

From the German word Aktivismus, dating back to 1905–10. See active, -ism
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Example Sentences

The institutional stalemate persists at the local level even in the bluest of districts like in New York City or Minneapolis, where police brutality persists, despite years of activism and electoral support for reform candidates.

From Vox

Abdul-Rauf’s plight says a lot about how far the NBA and the general public have shifted on political activism, race and the role athletes should play in these issues.

We’re firmly in an era of athlete activism, and whether the strike itself yields tangible benefits, it cemented that fact.

QAnon is now driving anti-mask activism and health misinformation campaigns, for example.

In an interview, she said public protests and unprecedented budget activism from the left have created an opportunity that the city can’t miss.

SEIU is one of the most powerful unions in the country and known for its activism.

But we also live with healing, with love, with activism, with a voice.

“Before 2011 I always saw my activism for LGBTI rights in mostly academic terms,” he said.

Some of her calls for activism read as warmed-over tracts from decades ago.

The conservatives saw all of this as blatantly political activism.

PEN grew quickly to become an international advocate for freedom of expression and continues its activism to this day.

The Mysticism he opposes is of the type that is virtually the negation of the Activism which is to him fundamental.

Since it gives this precedence to activity, to such activity, this system may be called “Activism.”

To recognise all this clearly is at the same time to acknowledge the superiority of Activism over all mere Romanticism.

The main criterion for membership in that elite is power derived from approved ideological orientation and political activism.


Related Words

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More About Activism

What does activism mean?

Activism is the practice of taking direct action to achieve political or social goals.

Activism can involve supporting a particular cause (or range of causes) or opposing it. Activism uses direct (and continued) actions, such as protests, lawsuits, lobbying, petitions, and strikes.

A person who engages in activism can be called an activist. The word activist implies that such actions are taken consistently—that the activist is consistently active in their activism. For example, protesting is a form of activism, but someone who attends one protest probably wouldn’t be called an activist (unless they continue to take such actions).

Like activist, the word activism is often preceded by a word referring to the kind of cause involved, as in political activism or environmental activism. 

Example: The only way to achieve change is to engage in continued activism—we can’t sit on the sidelines if we want to see results.

Where does activism come from?

The first records of the word activism come from around the early 1900s. It comes from the German word Aktivismus. It’s basically a combination of active and the suffix -ism, which indicates a practice or doctrine. The related suffix -ist is used in words that refer to a person who practices something or holds certain principles, as in activist.

Activism implies active participation in a cause—participation that is consistent and lasts. The word is often used in the context of protests but does mean the same exact thing—protests are just one form of activism.

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What are some other forms related to activism?

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What are some words that share a root or word element with activism


What are some words that often get used in discussing activism?



How is activism used in real life?

Activism typically involves work for or against change in political and social areas.


Try using activism!

Which of the following actions can be a form of activism?

A. protests
B. lawsuits
C. lobbying
D. all of the above