The Meaning of Ableist: What It Is and How To Use It

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What is an ableist? How can a person be ableist? Can someone be ableist and not even know it?

This article will teach you all about what the word ableist means and how to use it. You will also learn how to say the word ableist in other languages, learn the history of the word ableist, and more! 

Learning the word ableist is taking a step forward in learning about discrimination. Education and awareness are key to combatting problems like ableism and other forms of discrimination.  

What Does Ableist Mean?

According to Dictionary, the word ableist is an adjective that means fostering discrimination or bias against people who are disabled or regarding those who are disabled as damaged or incomplete. Ableist is also a noun that refers to a person who holds these beliefs. The pronunciation of ableist is ˈeɪbəlɪst.

There are many types of ableism, which can appear in many forms. Some types might be biased against a physical impairment or physical disability like a wheelchair or cane user. In contrast, other forms of ableism might be biased against those with mental health conditions like OCD or bipolar disorder. 

Often, ableism is seen in ableist language and microaggressions against disabled people. Ableism can also be present in the hiring process. Many people believe that job requirements like lifting 50 pounds of equipment for desk jobs are put in place to avoid hiring disabled people and are a form of discrimination.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) fights for disability rights and the disabled community. They know that ableist language, healthcare provider prejudice, and hiring practices contribute to the inequalities between disabled and non-disabled people. Fighting for disability rights is a form of social justice, just like combating sexism and racism. Fighting for disability protections is about more than special parking spaces.

How Can We Use Ableist in a Sentence?

There are several situations where a person can use this word of the day. You might use this word when discussing policies or laws or if you hear someone using ableist language to be discriminatory. You also might hear the word ableist if you are in an educational setting. 

To learn the word ableist in a sentence, you can start by studying the below example sentences. Then, you can practice using ableist in sentences on your own. Be careful: Someone might get offended if you call them an ableist. 

Example #1: Fighting Against Ableism

The group of people marched in the streets to protest the ableist policies at the big company.

Example #2: The Disability Advocate

The woman with the sister who had cerebral palsy was a model of disability advocacy. She made the fight against ableism a part of her everyday life.

Example #3: The Horrors of Ableism

The eugenics movement in Nazi Germany is a prime example of ableism and racism. The forced sterilization of those who did not fit the “ideal” was horrifying.

What Are Translations of Ableist?

Tragically, many countries around the world participate in ableism. Whether via laws, policies, or citizens’ beliefs, people of any nation, age, or language can be ableists.

It is important to know how to say the word ableist in various languages if you are fighting for disability rights worldwide. Using this list of translations of ableist from Nice Translator, you can expand your knowledge of other languages using the word ableist.

  • Chinese (PRC): 能干
  • Vietnamese: có thể
  • Catalan: capaç
  • Malay: mampu
  • Turkish: yetenekli
  • Slovenian: sposoben
  • Thai: ความสามารถ
  • German: fähig
  • Urdu: قابل
  • Portuguese (Brazil): capaz
  • Hindi: सक्षम
  • Polish: zdolny
  • Welsh: ngalluogwyr
  • Spanish: capaz
  • Slovak: schopný
  • Filipino: Kakayahan
  • Basque: gogile
  • Russian: способный
  • Serbian: топлотничар
  • Italian: abile
  • Gujarati: સક્ષમ
  • Swedish: kapabel
  • Estonian: võimeline
  • Bulgarian: способност
  • Arabic: قادر
  • Icelandic: færandi
  • Korean: 능력있는
  • Amharic: ችሎታ
  • Marathi: सक्षम
  • Czech: schopný
  • Portuguese (Portugal): capaz
  • Hebrew: יכולת
  • Malayalam: ഇഹിപ്പിസ്റ്റ്
  • Telugu: సామర్థ్యం
  • Croatian: sposoban
  • Lithuanian: Gebėjimas
  • Romanian: capabil
  • Chinese (Taiwan): 能幹
  • Latvian: spējīgs
  • Ukrainian: здатний
  • Dutch: bekwaamheid
  • Greek: ικανός
  • Indonesian: mampu
  • Bengali: সক্ষম
  • Japanese: 有能主義者
  • Tamil: சாத்தியமான
  • Finnish: kyvyttömyys
  • Hungarian: képesítő
  • Kannada: ಸಮರ್ಥವಾದ
  • French: capable
  • Swahili: mwenye uwezo

What Are Synonyms of Ableist?

Ableist is a very specific term that refers to discrimination against people who are disabled. However, there are several ways to refer to a person who is biased or prejudiced against a certain group. 

Using this list from Power Thesaurus, you can learn how to refer to prejudiced people in many ways. Some of these have a very negative connotation, so be careful before describing someone as one of the below. 

  • affected
  • ageist
  • anti-semitic
  • bias
  • biased
  • bigoted
  • blinkered
  • classist
  • close-minded
  • closed-minded
  • damaged
  • discriminative
  • discriminatory
  • distorted
  • dogmatic
  • harm
  • harmed
  • hidebound
  • homophobic
  • hurt
  • illiberal
  • inequitable
  • inflexible
  • influenced
  • injure
  • injured
  • insular
  • interested
  • intolerant
  • jaundiced
  • loaded
  • narrow
  • narrow-minded
  • one-sided
  • opinionated
  • parochial
  • partial
  • partisan
  • preconceived
  • predisposed
  • preferential
  • prejudice
  • prejudiced
  • prejudicial
  • prepossessed
  • provincial
  • racist
  • sectarian
  • sexist
  • skewed
  • slanted
  • small-minded
  • subjective
  • swayed
  • tendentious
  • twisted
  • unbalanced
  • unfair
  • unjust
  • unobjective
  • warped
  • weighted
  • xenophobic

What Are Antonyms of Ableist?

If someone is not ableist, they are accepting and non-discriminatory. Look at this list of words that mean the opposite of ableist from Power Thesaurus.

  • accepted
  • accepting
  • accommodating
  • advanced
  • agreeable
  • agreed
  • alert
  • anti-discrimination
  • approved
  • aware
  • believing
  • broad-minded
  • compliant
  • considerate
  • cooperative
  • credulous
  • detached
  • disinterested
  • dispassionate
  • easygoing
  • generous
  • getting
  • helpful
  • important
  • kind
  • kindly
  • large
  • lavish
  • lenient
  • liberal
  • neutral
  • non-aligned
  • non-discriminatory
  • non-judgmental
  • non-partisan
  • objective
  • open-minded
  • patient
  • permissive
  • prejudice-free
  • reasonable
  • sensitive
  • significant
  • substantial
  • sympathetic
  • taken
  • thoughtful
  • tolerant
  • unbiased
  • understanding
  • undogmatic
  • unprejudiced
  • non-prescriptive
  • valuable
  • willing
  • working


Ableist is an adjective that refers to a person who is discriminatory based on mental or physical disability. 


197 Adjective Synonyms for Accepting | Power Thesaurus 

Prejudiced synonyms – 568 Words and Phrases for Prejudiced | Power Thesaurus 

Ableism Definition & Meaning | 

Ableist | Nice Translator