Definition of discrimination noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//dɪˌskrɪmɪˈneɪʃn//
    ; NAmE NAmE//dɪˌskrɪmɪˈneɪʃn//
    Pay and conditions at work, Social justice
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  1. 1[uncountable] the practice of treating somebody or a particular group in society less fairly than others age/racial/sex/sexual discrimination (= because of somebody’s age, race or sex) discrimination against somebody discrimination against the elderly discrimination in favour of somebody discrimination in favour of the young discrimination on the grounds of something discrimination on the grounds of race, gender, or sexual orientation CollocationsRace and immigrationPrejudice and racism experience/​encounter racism/​discrimination/​prejudice/​anti-semitism face/​suffer persecution/​discrimination fear/​escape from/​flee racial/​political/​religious persecution constitute/​be a form of racial/​race discrimination reflect/​reveal/​show/​have a racial/​cultural bias be biased/​be prejudiced against (especially British English) black people/(both especially North American English) people of color/​African Americans/​Asians/​Africans/​Indians, etc. discriminate against minority groups/​minorities perpetuate/​conform to/​fit/​defy a common/​popular/​traditional/​negative stereotype overcome/​be blinded by deep-seated/​racial/(especially North American English) race prejudice entrench/​perpetuate racist attitudes hurl/​shout (especially British English) racist abuse; (especially North American English) a racist/​racial/​ethnic slur challenge/​confront racism/​discrimination/​prejudice combat/​fight (against)/tackle blatant/​overt/​covert/​subtle/​institutional/​systemic racismRace and society damage/​improve (especially British English) race relations practise/ (especially US English) practice (racial/​religious) tolerance/​segregation bridge/​break down/​transcend cultural/​racial barriers encourage/​promote social integration outlaw/​end discrimination/​slavery/​segregation promote/​embrace/​celebrate cultural diversity conform to/​challenge/​violate (accepted/​established/​prevailing/​dominant) social/​cultural norms live in a multicultural society attack/​criticize multiculturalism fight for/​struggle for/​promote racial equality perpetuate/​reinforce economic and social inequality introduce/​be for/​be against (British English) positive discrimination/(especially North American English) affirmative action support/​be active in/​play a leading role in the civil rights movementImmigration control/​restrict/​limit/​encourage immigration attract/​draw a wave of immigrants assist/​welcome refugees house/​shelter refugees and asylum seekers smuggle illegal immigrants into the UK deport/​repatriate illegal immigrants/​failed asylum seekers assimilate/​integrate new immigrants employ/​hire migrant workers exploit/​rely on (cheap/​illegal) immigrant labour/(especially US English) labor apply for/​gain/​obtain/​be granted/​be denied (full) citizenship have/​hold dual citizenship see also positive discrimination See related entries: Pay and conditions at work, Social justice
  2. 2[uncountable] (approving) the ability to judge what is good, true, etc. synonym discernment He showed great discrimination in his choice of friends.
  3. 3(formal) [uncountable, countable] the ability to recognize a difference between one thing and another; a difference that is recognized to learn discrimination between right and wrong fine discriminations
  4. Extra examples Does racial discrimination still exist in the workplace? It’s time we banned discrimination on the grounds of age. Levels of discrimination against recent immigrants are high. Many disabled people suffer discrimination at work. Overt sex or race discrimination is illegal. Racist remarks by an employer to an employee can amount to unlawful discrimination. She showed great discrimination in rejecting the poor quality teas. Some companies practice discrimination in favor of older people. The discrimination occurred at the shortlisting stage, not the interviews. The law now prohibits racial and ethnic discrimination. There is widespread discrimination against doctors of Asian origin. They claim to be the victims of reverse discrimination. Young children find it difficult to make fine discriminations. discrimination against women discrimination based on sexuality discrimination between right and wrong discrimination by age/​race evidence of active discrimination against black workers law suits alleging discrimination positive discrimination in favour of disadvantaged racial groups the First Amendment’s ban on viewpoint discrimination It takes a lot of experience to make such fine discriminations. Jews encountered many forms of discrimination in medieval Europe. Most minority groups in this country have experienced some form of race discrimination. Our policy forbids discrimination on the grounds of a person’s race, sex or sexuality. Some colleges feel there is a real need for positive discrimination in favour of applicants from poorer backgrounds. The court concluded that Ms Smith’s dismissal amounted to unlawful discrimination. The court heard arguments that programs to reserve some public works contracts for minorities cause reverse discrimination. The president has been criticized for his lack of discrimination in his choice of political allies. There are plans to introduce a new law dealing with religious discrimination. This is blatant discrimination against people with disabilities. With the current job situation, age discrimination in employment is becoming more common. Yesterday the club was cleared of racial discrimination against one of its members. You need to use your discrimination when assessing the various approaches on offer.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: discrimination