[ mahy-kroh-uh-gresh-uhn ]


  1. a subtle but offensive comment or action directed at a member of a marginalized group, especially a racial minority, that is often unintentionally offensive or unconsciously reinforces a stereotype:

    microaggressions such as "I don't see you as Black."

  2. the act of discriminating against a marginalized group by means of such comments or actions:

    The diversity committee discussed the issue of microaggression toward women on campus.

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Word History and Origins

Origin of microaggression1

First recorded in 1970; coined by psychiatrist Chester M. Pierce (1927–2016); micro- + aggression

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Example Sentences

It’s the story of how one man battles racism and microaggression to get to the top of a cult-like company.

From Fortune

What’s sweet about this, if a movie whose main character once punched her mother in the face can be called sweet, is that Housebound always frames both Kylie and her mother as vulnerable to one another’s unwitting slights and microaggressions.

From Vox

DeLeon’s report contains much more data, including detailed looks at the types of microaggressions more commonly experienced by different groups.

Those who commit microaggressions should be told what’s wrong with their actions.

At Mediacom, the agency plans to work with an independent education organization to get its staff to confront their own microaggressions in the workplace.

From Digiday