[ fem-uh-niz-uhm ]
See synonyms for feminism on Thesaurus.com
  1. the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.

  2. (sometimes initial capital letter) an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.

  1. Older Use. feminine character.

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Origin of feminism

First recorded in 1840–45; from Latin fēmina “woman” + -ism; 1890–95 for sense of “women's movement” (from feminist, adjective); see feminine

word story For feminism

See feminist.

Other words from feminism

  • fem·i·nist, noun, adjective
  • an·ti·fem·i·nism, noun
  • pro·fem·i·nism, noun

Words Nearby feminism

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use feminism in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for feminism


/ (ˈfɛmɪˌnɪzəm) /

  1. a doctrine or movement that advocates equal rights for women

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

Cultural definitions for feminism (1 of 2)


The doctrine — and the political movement based on it — that women should have the same economic, social, and political rights as men. (See under “Anthropology, Psychology, and Sociology.”)


A movement for granting women political, social, and economic equality with men. (See women's movement.)

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.