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First attested in 1788. abolition +‎ -ist.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌæ.bə.ˈlɪʃ.n̩.ɪst/
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˌæ.bə.ˈlɪʃ.n̩.ɪst/, /ˌæ.bə.ˈlɪʃ.n̩.əst/


abolitionist (comparative more abolitionist, superlative most abolitionist)

  1. (historical) In favor of the abolition of slavery. [since the late 18th century][1]


abolitionist (plural abolitionists)

  1. A person who favors the abolition of any particular institution. [since the late 18th century][1]
  2. (historical, US) A person who favored or advocated the abolition of slavery. [since the late 18th century][1]
    • 1855, Frederick Douglass, My Bondage and My Freedom Chapter 3
      Among other slave notabilities of the plantation, was one called by everybody Uncle Isaac Copper. It is seldom that a slave gets a surname from anybody in Maryland; and so completely has the south shaped the manners of the north, in this respect, that even abolitionists make very little of the surname of a negro.



  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Lesley Brown (editor), The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2003 [1933], →ISBN), page 6