Boycott Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Boycott, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Boycott?

(n) Boycott is the mode of protest against a policy, event, activity etc by abstaining from participation without causing direct damage. Eg. Boycotting a meeting which is intended to make a regulation which the boycotters wont agree. Boycott is generally resorted to catch public attention for the cause of their protest.

History and Meaning of Boycott

The term "boycott" was first used in 1880 during the Irish Land War. It was named after Captain Charles Boycott, who was a land agent and became a symbol of landlord oppression. It means to withdraw from commercial or social relations with a person, organization, or country as a punishment or protest. Boycott is a form of peaceful resistance and has been used throughout history.

Examples of Boycott

Here are a few examples of how the term "boycott" is used in different contexts:

  1. In 1965, African Americans in Selma, Alabama, boycotted the downtown stores to press for voting rights.
  2. In the 1980s, many people boycotted companies that used sweatshop labor and launched a movement to buy products made in conditions that respected workers' rights.
  3. In 2005, a call for the academic and cultural boycott of Israel was issued by Palestinian intellectuals, citing Israel's occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Legal Terms Similar to Boycott

Here are a few legal terms similar to "boycott":

  1. Strike - a labor action in which employees collectively refuse to work.
  2. Lockout - an employers' action in which they exclude employees from their place of work until certain terms are agreed upon.
  3. Picketing - the act of demonstrating outside a workplace or other location with the intent of influencing or dissuading people from entering it, often used in conjunction with a boycott.