What does racism mean?

Definitions for racism
ˈreɪ sɪz əmracism

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word racism.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. racismnoun

    the prejudice that members of one race are intrinsically superior to members of other races

  2. racism, racialism, racial discriminationnoun

    discriminatory or abusive behavior towards members of another race


  1. racismnoun

    The belief that each race has distinct and intrinsic attributes.

  2. racismnoun

    The belief that one race is superior to all others.

  3. racismnoun

    Prejudice or discrimination based upon race.

  4. Etymology: From racisme.


  1. Racism

    Racism is the belief that groups of humans possess different behavioral traits corresponding to inherited attributes and can be divided based on the superiority of one race over another. It may also mean prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against other people because they are of a different race or ethnicity. Modern variants of racism are often based in social perceptions of biological differences between peoples. These views can take the form of social actions, practices or beliefs, or political systems in which different races are ranked as inherently superior or inferior to each other, based on presumed shared inheritable traits, abilities, or qualities. There have been attempts to legitimize racist beliefs through scientific means, such as scientific racism, which have been overwhelmingly shown to be unfounded. In terms of political systems (e.g. apartheid) that support the expression of prejudice or aversion in discriminatory practices or laws, racist ideology may include associated social aspects such as nativism, xenophobia, otherness, segregation, hierarchical ranking, and supremacism. While the concepts of race and ethnicity are considered to be separate in contemporary social science, the two terms have a long history of equivalence in popular usage and older social science literature. "Ethnicity" is often used in a sense close to one traditionally attributed to "race", the division of human groups based on qualities assumed to be essential or innate to the group (e.g. shared ancestry or shared behavior). Racism and racial discrimination are often used to describe discrimination on an ethnic or cultural basis, independent of whether these differences are described as racial. According to the United Nations's Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination, there is no distinction between the terms "racial" and "ethnic" discrimination. It further concludes that superiority based on racial differentiation is scientifically false, morally condemnable, socially unjust, and dangerous. The convention also declared that there is no justification for racial discrimination, anywhere, in theory or in practice.Racism is a relatively modern concept, arising in the European age of imperialism, the subsequent growth of capitalism, and especially the Atlantic slave trade, of which it was a major driving force. It was also a major force behind racial segregation in the United States in the 19th and early 20th centuries, and of apartheid in South Africa; 19th and 20th-century racism in Western culture is particularly well documented and constitutes a reference point in studies and discourses about racism. Racism has played a role in genocides such as the Holocaust, the Armenian genocide, the Rwandan genocide, and the Genocide of Serbs in the Independent State of Croatia, as well as colonial projects including the European colonization of the Americas, Africa, Asia, and the population transfer in the Soviet Union including deportations of indigenous minorities. Indigenous peoples have been—and are—often subject to racist attitudes.


  1. racism

    Racism is a belief, ideology, or system in which different races possess distinct characteristics and abilities, and that one race is inherently superior or inferior to others. It often involves prejudice, discrimination, or antagonism directed against someone of a different race or ethnicity, based on the belief of racial superiority.


  1. Racism

    Racism is usually defined as views, practices and actions reflecting the belief that humanity is divided into distinct biological groups called races and that members of a certain race share certain attributes which make that group as a whole less desirable, more desirable, inferior, or superior. The exact definition of racism is controversial both because there is little scholarly agreement about the meaning of the concept "race", and because there is also little agreement about what does and doesn't constitute discrimination. Critics argue that the term is applied differentially, with a focus on such prejudices by whites, and defining mere observations of racial differences as racism. Some definitions would have it that any assumption that a person's behavior would be influenced by their racial categorization is racist, regardless of whether the action is intentionally harmful or pejorative. Other definitions only include consciously malignant forms of discrimination. Among the questions about how to define racism are the question of whether to include forms of discrimination that are unintentional, such as making assumptions about preferences or abilities of others based on racial stereotypes, whether to include symbolic or institutionalized forms of discrimination such as the circulation of ethnic stereotypes through the media, and whether to include the socio-political dynamics of social stratification that sometimes have a racial component. Some definitions of racism also include discriminatory behaviors and beliefs based on cultural, national, ethnic, caste, or religious stereotypes.

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British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'racism' in Nouns Frequency: #2862

How to pronounce racism?

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of racism in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of racism in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of racism in a Sentence

  1. Bridgette Hodges:

    Things are changing dramatically for our country and there is so much racism and violence.

  2. Bob Kendrick:

    How could they risk dying fighting for this country against racism overseas, and then accept racism here at home ? the growing sentiment was those( Black) players should be allowed to play in this country.

  3. Black Violets:

    Black Violets NYU is a predominantly white institution, making Black Violets NYU very difficult for Black students to connect or find community, especially when incidents involving racism occur, it is not about exclusion, but rather creating a space where Black students can feel included.

  4. Beto O'Rourke:

    I mean, connect the dots about what he's been doing in this country. Beto ORourke's not tolerating racism, Beto ORourke's promoting racism. Beto ORourke's not tolerating violence, Beto ORourke's inciting racism and violence in this country.

  5. Val Demings:

    I'm not sure I want the job as much as the job may want me, and I say that because I think that people are chosen, I believe, at certain times to address certain things. And if we look at what is going on in our country right now... I know what discrimination feels like, I know what racism feels like, because I have been subjected to it.

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Translations for racism

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"racism." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 21 Jul 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/racism>.

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