Definitions for -ism

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word -ism

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

ismˈɪz əm(n.)

  1. a distinctive doctrine, theory, system, or practice:

    capitalism, socialism, and other isms.

Origin of ism:

< -ism


  1. 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.: Darwinism; despotism; plagiarism; realism; witticism.

    Category: Affix

    Ref: Compare -ist , -ize.

Origin of -ism:

< Gk -ismos, -isma


  1. -ism(Suffix)

    forming nouns on action or process or result based on the accompanying verb in -ize

  2. -ism(Suffix)

    forming the name of a system, school of thought or theory based on the name of its subject or object or alternatively on the name of its founder ().

  3. Origin: Ultimately from either , a suffix that forms abstract nouns of action, state, condition, doctrine; from stem of verbs in (whence English -ize), or from the related suffix , which more specifically expressed a finished act or thing done.

Webster Dictionary

  1. -ism

    a suffix indicating an act, a process, the result of an act or a process, a state; also, a characteristic (as a theory, doctrine, idiom, etc.); as, baptism, galvanism, organism, hypnotism, socialism, sensualism, Anglicism


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