to not take part in an event, or to not buy or use something as a protest
an act of boycotting something
Origin and usage
The verb and noun boycott can both be dated to 1880. They come from the name of Captain Charles C. Boycott, a land agent in County Mayo, Ireland, who in that year became the object of an early protest of this type. In response to threats of eviction, and in pursuit of their campaign for fair rents and security of tenure, the Irish Land League encouraged employees on the estate managed by Boycott to withdraw their labour; local shops also refused to serve him.
Boycott is an eponym, a word derived from someone’s name. Although early reports referred to Captain Boycott by name when referring to the protests, almost immediately his name started to be used in inverted commas as a verb. In November 1880 The Birmingham Daily Post reported that another man, a merchant, ‘has been ‘Boycotted’ to use the local term’. It was only a few years before the term lost its capital letter and boycott entered the language as an ordinary verb and noun used to refer to the different ways in which pressure can be exerted on a person, organization or even country to persuade them to change their behaviour.
(Coretta Scott King)
black, blacklist, civil disobedience, protest
View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.
Leave a Comment