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[boi-kot] /ˈbɔɪ kɒt/
verb (used with object)
to combine in abstaining from, or preventing dealings with, as a means of intimidation or coercion:
to boycott a store.
to abstain from buying or using:
to boycott foreign products.
the practice of boycotting.
an instance of boycotting.
after Charles C. Boycott (1832-97), English estate manager in Ireland, against whom nonviolent coercive tactics were used in 1880
Related forms
boycotter, noun
antiboycott, noun, adjective
proboycott, adjective
Can be confused
boycott, embargo. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for boycotting
  • Others are boycotting the event or withholding their conference papers.
  • For example, there are some people who have begun boycotting the firm, which might cut into sales.
  • The success of the protests was real enough, both in turning out the demonstrators and in boycotting the economy.
  • Relatives of some victims are boycotting the court, and donors look twitchy.
  • The main pro-democracy party is boycotting the discussions.
  • boycotting is not always practical or even possible.
  • Taxpayers must report their operations in boycotting countries.
  • boycotting, secondary boycotting, and sympathy strikes against public policy.
  • Voting is one of the few things where boycotting in protest clearly makes the problem worse rather than better.
  • Even when people aren't struggling, boycotting another city or state is a big step.
British Dictionary definitions for boycotting


(transitive) to refuse to have dealings with (a person, organization, etc) or refuse to buy (a product) as a protest or means of coercion: to boycott foreign produce
an instance or the use of boycotting
Word Origin
C19: after Captain C. C. Boycott (1832–97), Irish land agent for the Earl of Erne, County Mayo, Ireland, who was a victim of such practices for refusing to reduce rents


Geoff(rey). born 1940, English cricketer: played for Yorkshire (1962–86); played in 108 test matches (1964–1982); first England batsman to score 8,000 test runs
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for boycotting


1880, noun and verb, from Irish Land League ostracism of Capt. Charles C. Boycott (1832-1897), land agent of Lough-Mask in County Mayo, who refused to lower rents for his tenant farmers. Quickly adopted by newspapers in languages as far afield as Japanese (boikotto). The family name is from a place in England.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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boycotting in Culture

boycott definition

The refusal to purchase the products of an individual, corporation, or nation as a way to bring social and political pressure for change.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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