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[ab-uh-lish-uh-nist] /ˌæb əˈlɪʃ ə nɪst/
(especially prior to the Civil War) a person who advocated or supported the abolition of slavery in the U.S.
a person who favors the abolition of any law or practice deemed harmful to society:
the abolitionists who are opposed to capital punishment.
Origin of abolitionist
1830-40; abolition + -ist
Related forms
proabolitionist, noun, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for abolitionist
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He fancied he was one of the abolitionist group that had followed Anthony Burns to the last.

    Pirate Gold Frederic Jesup Stimson
  • Because of her reputation as an abolitionist, she had much resistance to overcome in the South.

    Susan B. Anthony Alma Lutz
  • "My father was not an abolitionist, sir," said Stephen, smiling.

    The Crisis, Complete Winston Churchill
  • The abolitionist papers were at first sent all over the South.

    The Negro and the Nation George S. Merriam
  • The abolitionist with relentless gospel even of war on the Constitution was altogether too radical for the general mind.

    Lincoln, the Politician T. Aaron Levy
Word Origin and History for abolitionist

1795, from abolition + -ist. In Britain, applied 20c. to advocates of ending capital punishment.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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