[-ism] n suffix [ME -isme, fr. MF & L; MF, partly fr. L -isma (fr. Gk) & partly fr. L -ismus, fr. Gk -ismos; Gk -isma & -ismos, fr. verbs in -izein -ize] 1 a: act: practice: process "criticism" "plagiarism" b: manner of action or behavior characteristic of a (specified) person or thing "animalism" c: prejudice or discrimination on the basis of a (specified) attribute "racism" "sexism"
2. a: state: condition: property "barbarianism" b: abnormal state or condition resulting from excess of a (specified) thing "alcoholism" or marked by resemblance to (such) a person or thing "mongolism" 3 a: doctrine: theory: cult "Buddhism" b: adherence to a system or a class of principles "stoicism"
4: characteristic or peculiar feature or trait "colloquialism"