Dictionary.com

ageism

[ ey-jiz-uhm ]
/ ˈeɪ dʒɪz əm /
Save This Word!

noun
discrimination against persons of a certain age group.
a tendency to regard older persons as debilitated, unworthy of attention, or unsuitable for employment.
QUIZ
THINGAMABOB OR THINGUMMY: CAN YOU DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THE US AND UK TERMS IN THIS QUIZ?
Do you know the difference between everyday US and UK terminology? Test yourself with this quiz on words that differ across the Atlantic.
Question 1 of 7
In the UK, COTTON CANDY is more commonly known as…

Origin of ageism

First recorded in 1965–70; age + -ism, on the model of sexism, racism, etc.

OTHER WORDS FROM ageism

age·ist, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

MORE ABOUT AGEISM

What is ageism?

Ageism is treating people of a certain age group negatively solely because of their age, as in Thinking that all teenagers are irresponsible is ageism.

Ageism is any form of discrimination against people because of their age. Most often, ageism is targeted toward older people, such as thinking that elderly people are helpless because of their advanced age. However, any age group can be discriminated against. For example, thinking that someone in their 20s is too young to be a manager is ageism. So is thinking that teenagers are irresponsible.

Example: When you don’t get hired for a position you’re qualified for just because you’re older, that sounds like ageism.

Where does ageism come from?

The first records of the term ageism come from around the 1960s. It combines the term age, meaning “length of time a person has been alive,” with the suffix -ism, which creates nouns denoting an action or practice, as in racism and sexism. 

Something that showcases ageism is described as ageist. Ageist tendencies tend to produce themselves when a person considers another person to be unworthy of their attention, for example, because of their age. People who tend to display an action like this are referred to as ageists.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to ageism?

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

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

How is ageism used in real life?

Many people advocate for ageism to be taken more seriously, especially since it is not as frequently or prominently discussed as other forms of discrimination.

 

Try using ageism!

Is ageism used correctly in the following sentence?

Ageism in the workplace can mean pushing someone to retire because of their age and nothing else.”

MORE ABOUT AGEISM

What is ageism?

Ageism is treating people of a certain age group negatively solely because of their age, as in Thinking that all teenagers are irresponsible is ageism.

Ageism is any form of discrimination against people because of their age. Most often, ageism is targeted toward older people, such as thinking that elderly people are helpless because of their advanced age. However, any age group can be discriminated against. For example, thinking that someone in their 20s is too young to be a manager is ageism. So is thinking that teenagers are irresponsible.

Example: When you don’t get hired for a position you’re qualified for just because you’re older, that sounds like ageism.

Where does ageism come from?

The first records of the term ageism come from around the 1960s. It combines the term age, meaning “length of time a person has been alive,”  with the suffix -ism, which creates nouns denoting an action or practice, as in racism and sexism.

Something that showcases ageism is described as ageist. Ageist tendencies tend to produce themselves when a person considers another person to be unworthy of their attention, for example, because of their age. People who tend to display an action like this are referred to as ageists.

Did you know … ?

What are some other forms related to ageism?

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

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

How is ageism used in real life?

Ageism is less frequently discussed than other forms of discrimination, at least in informal conversation. Even so, discriminating against someone because they are older is wrong.

Try using ageism!

Is ageism used correctly in the following sentence?

“Ageism in the workplace can mean pushing someone to retire because of their age and nothing else.”

How to use ageism in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ageism

ageism

agism

/ (ˈeɪdʒɪzəm) /

noun
discrimination against people on the grounds of age; specifically, discrimination against the elderly

Derived forms of ageism

ageist or agist, adjective
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
FEEDBACK