What Does 'Ism' Mean?


2 Answers

Andy Kirkham Profile
Andy Kirkham answered
It denotes a distinctive system of beliefs, myth, doctrine or theory that guides a social movement, institution, class or group. For example, baptise becomes baptism, a distinctive system of cleansing in water to testify to the forgiveness of sins. It is taken from the Greek fix -ismos, Latin -ismus, and Old French -isme.
Arlene Fernandes Profile
An ism could refer to the suffix –ism; Interstellar medium; the initialism ISM; or even the band Ism, which is a New York based punk band. It could also refer to the International Solidarity Movement, which is a Palestinian-led movement that is devoted to resistance of the occupation of Palestinian territory by the Israeli military. It is committed to non-violent, direct-action principles and methods.

The term ism is often informal used to refer to a distinctive doctrine, theory or system. It could be a belief (or even a system of beliefs) that some group or school accepts as authoritative. In this sense of the term, synonyms for an ism would include the terms doctrine, philosophy, philosophical system and school of thought.

It could also be used to denote an oppressive and particularly discriminatory attitude or belief.
thanked the writer.
Anonymous commented
This answer is illogical.
The writer indicates that the term ism could be used to describe a belief, then goes on to say that the term ism could also be used to describe an oppressive belief.
An oppressive belief is still a belief, and would therefore not be something separate from belief, as described in this definition.

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