[iz-uh m] /ˈɪz əm/

a distinctive doctrine, theory, system, or practice:
This is the age of isms.
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).
(informal, often derogatory) an unspecified doctrine, system, or practice
interstellar medium
indicating an action, process, or result: criticism, terrorism
indicating a state or condition: paganism
indicating a doctrine, system, or body of principles and practices: Leninism, spiritualism
indicating behaviour or a characteristic quality: heroism
indicating a characteristic usage, esp of a language: colloquialism, Scotticism
indicating prejudice on the basis specified: sexism, ageism

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.

-ism suff.

interstellar medium


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