Ageism meaning, synonyms, antonyms, translation, and use cases


In today’s word for the day, we will be giving you a highlight on the meaning of Ageism, its synonyms, antonyms, translation, and use cases


Ageism is the term for stereotypes (how we see the world), prejudice (how we feel about others), and discrimination (how we treat people) that are based on age.

Ageism is the treatment of persons unfairly or discriminated against because of their age. Although it often relates to older people, it can also have an impact on younger people. Ageism has a detrimental effect on one’s physical and emotional well-being, and studies have linked it to an early mortality.

Ageism, often known as agism, is the practice of discriminating against people or organizations based only on their age. Robert Neil Butler created the phrase in 1969 to characterize prejudice against elders that was based on sexism and racism. Ageism, according to Butler, is the confluence of three interrelated factors. It was first primarily associated with older people, old age, and the aging process, with discrimination against older people, and with institutional practices and policies that support negative perceptions of the elderly.

The persecution of younger people by older people has also been referred to as “ageism,” for instance in a 1976 brochure released by the Ann Arbor, Michigan-based youth organization Youth Liberation. At a Bracknell Forest Council meeting in March 1983, Councillor Richard Thomas made the argument that age discrimination hurts both younger and older individuals in the UK. In February 2021, it was used in relation to prejudice and discrimination against children and adolescents, particularly, by denying them access to certain rights and privileges that are typically only available to adults, such as the ability to vote, run for office, decline medical treatment, sign contracts, and so forth. Additionally, this can entail dismissing their suggestions and efforts because they are deemed “too young” or supposing that the should behave in certain ways because of their younger age. Age-based military conscription is an example of age-based discrimination against the young. It also includes other punishments, burdens, or restrictions that are placed solely or disproportionately on young people as opposed to older individuals. However, older adults experience the worst age bias and discrimination in a youth-focused society. Because they have internalized a lifetime of unfavorable beliefs about getting older, older individuals themselves can be extremely ageist. Avoiding, isolating, and rejecting older people serve as coping methods that enable people to avoid thinking about their own mortality. Ageism is frequently related to anxieties of death and infirmity. Ageism is not the cause of stigma and discrimination surrounding the loss of physical or mental capabilities because aging is a lifelong process. Ageism, like other types of prejudice, is socially produced rather than biological.

Who does ageism affect

Everyone is impacted by ageism. Children as young as 4 years old become conscious of the age stereotypes in their culture. From that point on, they internalize these stereotypes and utilize them to control their attitudes and actions toward individuals of various ages. In order to perceive and comprehend themselves, they also rely on cultural age stereotypes, which can lead to self-directed ageism at any age. Ageism combines with other forms of discrimination, such as those based on sex, race, and disability, and makes them worse.

Types of Ageism

There are many ways to categorize ageism. Terms that describe where ageism takes place include:

institutional ageism, which occurs when an institution perpetuates ageism through its actions and policies
interpersonal ageism, which occurs in social interactions
internalized ageism, This occurs when someone internalizes ageist notions and uses them to define themselves. Ageism can also change depending on the circumstance. Hostile ageism, for instance, is when someone openly and aggressively holds beliefs about their age, such as that teenagers are violent or dangerous.

Benevolent ageism, on the other hand, refers to the assumption that an older person is helpless and needs assistance with everyday duties because of their age.

Whether a person is aware of ageism or not determines another way to classify it. If so, this is referred to as explicit ageism. This is referred to as implicit ageism if the individual is unaware of it. Implicit ageism, for instance, would occur if a physician treated older and younger patients differently accidentally.

Example of Ageism

Ageism comes in many forms. Some examples of ageism in the workplace include:

  • employing just those who are a specific age or older
  • requesting a person’s age in a job interview when it has no bearing on the job
  • implementing measures that unfairly give one age group the advantage over another
  • assuming that older people are irrelevant, unproductive, or set in their ways
  • young people as being incompetent, careless, or unreliable
  • harassing or bullying

Some examples that appear in personal relationships include:

  • family members being treated as if they are invisible, stupid, or expendable because of their age
  • making ageist jokes that suggest a person is worth less or deserves less respect depending on their age
  • making derogatory assumptions about a particular generation, such as that millennials are entitled
  • ignoring someone’s wants or concerns because of their age
  • utilizing someone’s age for one’s own gain, such as to get money
  • using a person’s age as a pretext to manipulate, deceive, or undermine them
  • Abuse can result from ageism as well. According to the WHO, a review conducted in 2017 revealed that 1 in 6Trusted Source individuals over 60 had experienced elder abuse, which can take the form of emotional, physical, sexual, or financial abuse.


How ageism affects everyone

Ageism does not only affect individuals — it has far-reaching consequences. These include:

Higher rates of illness: Ageism reduces people’s physical and mental health, increasing their care needs and reducing quality of life as they get older. It is also associated with risk-taking behaviors, such as smoking, drinking, and an unhealthy diet.

Higher health care spending: According to the WHO, the United States spends billions of dollarsTrusted Source per year treating health conditions due to ageism.

Poverty: Poverty is made worse by rising medical expenses and a lack of health insurance. People who are retired, have lost a spouse or partner, are unable to work due to a sickness or disability, or who are retired may find this to be particularly tough. Health also gets worse due to poverty, creating a vicious cycle.

Lower life expectancy: Ageism is associated with earlier death, causing a decrease of 7.5 years on average.
The number of older adults in the U.S. is growing, making ageism an increasingly important issue.



  • Sexism
  • discrimination
  • prejudice
  • intolerance
  • racism


  • age equality
  • benevolence
  • detachment
  • equal opportunity
  • equal rights
  • equal treatment


Spanish- discriminación por edad
Latin- ageism
French- âgisme
Portugese- preconceito de idade


Use cases

  • When a younger guy was hired to replace him, he accused his former employer of ageism.
  • More than 93% of adults between the ages of 50 and 80 report experiencing ageism, which can have detrimental impacts on one’s health. On the other hand, those who view aging positively tend to live longer.
  • Ageism and the cultural repercussions of being visible at work add to the stigma surrounding menopause.
  • In order to combat ageism, the City of Boston in 2019 renamed its Commission on Affairs of the Elderly to the Age Strong Commission and started a multiplatform campaign.


Frequently Asked Question

What are three causes of ageism?
social influences. On a cultural level, two elements—a lack of resources and the proportion of senior citizens in the population—tend to make a society more ageist.
interpersonal elements Social spheres including families, neighborhoods, and businesses are among them.
specific factors.

What are examples of ageism?
Advising a woman that she is “too old” to wear particular looks or attire (especially those that are deemed “sexy”); “anti-aging” goods and services. praising the elderly by contrasting them with the young: “You’re young at heart,” “You look fine for [your age],” Is your age truly so high?

What are the 3 types of ageism?
Ageism that is institutionalized, or perpetuated through an organization’s activities and policies
Interpersonal ageism is a problem in social settings.
Ageism that a person internalizes and applies to oneself is known as internalized ageism.

How do you prove ageism?

Intentions are revealed through actions such as adverse actions or comments. Document ageist comments and keep track of nearby witnesses. Even if there are no witnesses, a jury may believe you especially if you have other evidence.

What is the root of ageism?
This theory holds that ageism stems from the desire of the young and middle-aged groups to set themselves apart from and above the older age groups in order to develop a positive, distinctive identity based on their own age group.

Is ageism hard to prove?
One of the main problems that American workers face on a daily basis is ageism, or discrimination based on the employee’s age. Ageism has existed for as long as other forms of job discrimination, but it can be more difficult to prove because it is frequently subtle and difficult to spot.


Video explanation on Ageism

This video will give a further explanation on the meaning of Ageism



On a cultural level, two elements—a lack of resources and the proportion of elderly individuals in the population—tend to make a society more ageist.
Competition for scarce resources like money, food, healthcare, or shelter rises.



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