- -ism [iz′əm][ME -isme < OFr & L -isma (< Gr) & -ismus (< Gr -ismos): orig. suffix of action or of state, forming nouns from verbs in L -izare, Gr -izein] suffix forming nouns1. the act, practice, or result of [terrorism]2. the condition of being [pauperism]3. action, conduct, or qualities characteristic of [patriotism]4. the doctrine, school, theory, or principle of [cubism, socialism]5. devotion to [nationalism]6. an instance, example, or peculiarity of [Gallicism, witticism]7. an abnormal condition caused by [alcoholism]8. belief, attitudes, actions, or conduct characterized by prejudice or bigotry related to [ageism, classism, sexism]
English World dictionary. V. Neufeldt. 2014.