ism

[iz-uh m]

noun

a distinctive doctrine, theory, system, or practice: This is the age of isms.

Nearby words

  1. islets of langerhans,
  2. islington,
  3. islip,
  4. islomania,
  5. isls.,
  6. ismael,
  7. ismail pasha,
  8. ismaili,
  9. ismailia,
  10. ismailis

Origin of ism

extracted from words with the suffix -ism

-ism

a suffix appearing in loanwords from Greek, where it was used to form action nouns from verbs (baptism); on this model, used as a productive suffix in the formation of nouns denoting action or practice, state or condition, principles, doctrines, a usage or characteristic, devotion or adherence, etc. (criticism; barbarism; Darwinism; despotism; plagiarism; realism; witticism; intellectualism).
Compare -ist, -ize.

Origin of -ism

< Greek -ismos, -isma noun suffixes, often directly, often through Latin -ismus, -isma, sometimes through French -isme, German -ismus (all ultimately < Gk)

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

Examples from the Web for ism


British Dictionary definitions for ism

ism

noun

informal, often derogatory an unspecified doctrine, system, or practice

ISM

abbreviation for

interstellar medium

-ism

suffix forming nouns

indicating an action, process, or resultcriticism; terrorism
indicating a state or conditionpaganism
indicating a doctrine, system, or body of principles and practicesLeninism; spiritualism
indicating behaviour or a characteristic qualityheroism
indicating a characteristic usage, esp of a languagecolloquialism; Scotticism
indicating prejudice on the basis specifiedsexism; ageism

Word Origin for -ism

from Old French -isme, from Latin -ismus, from Greek -ismos

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

Word Origin and History for ism

-ism

suffix forming nouns of action, state, condition, doctrine, from French -isme or directly from Latin -isma, -ismus, from Greek -isma, from stem of verbs in -izein. Used as an independent word, chiefly disparagingly, from 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for ism

-ism

suff.

Action, process; practice:vegetarianism.
Characteristic behavior or quality:puerilism.
State; condition; quality:senilism.
State or condition resulting from an excess of something specified:strychninism.
Doctrine; theory; system of principles:Darwinism.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.