or an·ti-Sem·i·tism

[ an-tee-sem-i-tiz-uhm, an-tahy- ]
See synonyms for antisemitism on
  1. discrimination against or prejudice or hostility toward Jews.

Origin of antisemitism

First recorded in 1880–85

usage note For antisemitism

The closed and lowercase spelling antisemitism is now the preferred form. Jewish groups have long preferred the single word spelling, and many style guides, including those of major publications, have also adopted it.
While Semitic is a current linguistic term for a subfamily of Afroasiatic languages including Akkadian, Arabic, Aramaic, Ethiopic, Hebrew, and Phoenician, the spelling anti-Semite falsely implies prejudice against all of the diverse groups of people who speak any of these languages. However, that is not how antisemite is used. Rather, the “Semite” in antisemitism is a euphemism for “Jew,” meant to lend a scientific air to the racial grouping of all Jewish peoples based on an outdated pseudoscience of race. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use antisemitism in a sentence

Cultural definitions for anti-Semitism


[ (an-tee-sem-uh-tiz-uhm, an-teye-sem-uh-tiz-uhm) ]

Prejudice or hatred against Jews (see also Jews), a Semitic race. (See Arab-Israeli conflict and Nazis.)

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.