from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • transitive verb To abstain from or act together in abstaining from using, buying, dealing with, or participating in as an expression of protest or disfavor or as a means of coercion.
  • noun The act or an instance of boycotting.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To combine in refusing to work for, buy from, sell to, give assistance to, or have any kind of dealings with, and
  • in preventing others from working for, buying from, selling to, assisting, or having any kind of dealings with (a person or company), on account of political or other differences, or of disagreements in business matters, as a means of inflicting punishment, or of coercing or intimidating.
  • noun An organized attempt to coerce a person or party into compliance with some demand, by combining to abstain, and compel others to abstain, from having any business or social relations with him or it; an organized persecution of a person or company, as a means of coercion or intimidation, or of retaliation for some act, or refusal to act in a particular way.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun The process, fact, or pressure of boycotting; a combining to withhold or prevent dealing or social intercourse with a tradesman, employer, etc.; social and business interdiction for the purpose of coercion.
  • transitive verb To combine against (a landlord, tradesman, employer, or other person), to withhold social or business relations from him, and to deter others from holding such relations; to subject to a boycott.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • verb To abstain, either as an individual or group, from using, buying, or dealing with someone or some organization as an expression of protest.
  • noun The act of boycotting

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a group's refusal to have commercial dealings with some organization in protest against its policies
  • verb refuse to sponsor; refuse to do business with


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[After Charles C. Boycott, (1832–1897), English land agent in Ireland.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Captain Charles Cunningham Boycott, an English evicting land agent in Ireland who was subject to a boycott organized by the Irish Land League in 1880.


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  • from Captain Charles Boycott, the estate agent of an absentee landlord, the Earl Erne, in County Mayo, Ireland who was subject to social ostracism organized by the Irish Land League in 1880.

    February 19, 2007

  • See goodwinism.

    March 26, 2009

  • “There aren't many individuals in history whose names are taken in vain more than Capt. C.C. Boycott, the notorious Irish landlord who cut the wages of his tenant farmers and got himself ostracized -- and the English language enriched -- in return.�?

    The Los Angeles Times, , by Michael Hiltzik, August 31, 2009

    September 3, 2009

  • Mister Hiltzik's lack of attention to detail is regrettable: Captain Boycott was not the landlord, merely the agent charged with collecting rent.

    September 4, 2009

  • And he STILL gets his name taken in vain. Bet he regretted taking that job.

    And let's not forget Mr. Gerrymander. ;)

    September 4, 2009

  • Nor his firedwelling cousin, Mr. Sal A. Mander. :-)

    September 4, 2009

  • And their cousin twice removed, Mr. Goodforthe Gander.

    September 4, 2009

  • That was a family name. His third cousin twice removed, Mr. Goose, also had the first name Goodforthe.

    September 7, 2009