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Boycott is a term that is most frequently referenced in the context of antitrust law. It is a concerted refusal to deal with a disfavored purchaser or seller. The word is both a noun and a verb and stems from Captain Charles C. Boycott’s name. Captain Boycott was a 19th-century Irish land agent who refused to adjust the rents of his tenant farmers and thus was left with unharvested fields.

A boycott differs from a strike in that a strike is a refusal to work, while a boycott is a refusal to deal or trade.

[Last updated in June of 2021 by the Wex Definitions Team]