A modern dictionary about us.
We define our words, but they don't define us.

content warning




We would recommend adding a content warning when speaking about this term. Please read the guidance on how and when to warn people before using this term in any context.

a system that places value on people’s bodies and minds based on societally constructed ideas of normalcy, intelligence, excellence, and productivity. These constructed ideas are deeply rooted in anti-Blackness, eugenics, colonialism, and capitalism.

— Talila "TL" Lewis


To paraphrase Lewis, ableism "leads to people and society determining who is valuable and worthy based on a person’s appearance and/or their ability to [...] produce, excel, and 'behave.'" You do not have to be disabled to experience ableism, and Disabled people can also reinforce ableism internally (manifesting as harm to themselves) and externally (harm to other disabled people).

Other Languages

Français Português

Further Reading

Something not quite right?

If you found a typo, would like to add another resource, or add nuance to this definition, please feel free to submit an issue or open a pull request.


Previous words

Next words