[ fem-uh-niz-uh m ]
/ ˈfɛm əˌnɪz əm /


the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women equal to those of men.
(sometimes initial capital letter) an organized movement for the attainment of such rights for women.
Older Use. feminine character.

Origin of feminism

1840–45; < Latin fēmina “woman” + English -ism; 1890-95 for sense of “women's movement” (from feminist, adjective); see feminine; cf. French féminisme

Related forms

fem·i·nist, noun, adjectivean·ti·fem·i·nism, nounpro·fem·i·nism, noun

Word story

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for feminism

British Dictionary definitions for feminism


/ (ˈfɛmɪˌnɪzəm) /


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

Culture 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.”)

Culture definitions for feminism (2 of 2)


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.