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ism

[ iz-uhm ]
/ ˈɪz əm /
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noun
a distinctive doctrine, theory, system, or practice: This is the age of isms.
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Origin of ism

Extracted from words with the suffix -ism

Other definitions for ism (2 of 2)

-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

From Greek -ismos, -isma noun suffixes, often directly, often through Latin -ismus, -isma, sometimes through French -isme, German -ismus (all ultimately from Greek )
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use ism in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ism (1 of 3)

ism
/ (ˈɪzəm) /

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

British Dictionary definitions for ism (2 of 3)

ISM

abbreviation for
interstellar medium

British Dictionary definitions for ism (3 of 3)

-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
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