Legal Definition and Related Resources of Boycott

Meaning of Boycott

To refrain from commercial dealing by a concerted effort. refusal to work for, purchase from or handle the products of an employer . C. Cornelia, Inc. v United Farm Workers Organizing committee , 292 N.E. 2d647, 33 Ohio App. 2d61. Within the meaning of The Sherman Act the term includes even peaceful persuasion of a person to refrain from doing business with another. See Vandervelde v Put & Call Brokers & Dealers association , 344 F. Supp. 118, (D.C.N.Y.).

Boycott Alternative Definition

A conspiracy to injure the business of any person by inducing others to abstain from business relations with him. The methods are so diverse as not to be comprehended by any definition. For illustrations, see 84 Va. 927; 45 Fed. 135; 55 Conn. 79. If force or intimidation is resorted to, such combinations are unlawful. As to their legality in the absence of such measures, see 15 Q. B. Div. 476.

Synonyms of Boycott


  • abstention from buying
  • abstention from using
  • avoidance
  • ban
  • banning
  • blacklisting
  • blackballing
  • debarring
  • embargo
  • exclusion
  • ostracism
  • proscription
  • refusal to do business
  • rejection
  • shunning
  • strike
  • withholding of patronage
  • Associated Concepts: primary boycott
  • secondary boycott

Related Entries of Boycott in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Boycott in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Boycott in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Boycott in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Boycott in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

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What does Boycott mean in American Law?

The definition of Boycott in the law of the United States, as defined by the lexicographer Arthur Leff in his legal dictionary is:

An express or tacit agreement among several persons not to have anything to do with a particular person or firm, either to punish the victim for past acts, or to coerce him into future ones. Boycotts are of legal significance in several contexts. First, a boycott is a potent weapon in the hands of customers, suppliers, or competitors of a business firm who, by agreeing not to deal with it, can coerce the victim into changing certain aspects of its business which the boycotters find objectionable, e.g., price cutting. This kind of boycott, also called a “concerted refusal to deal” or a “group boycott” is, generally speaking, violative of the antitrust laws, especially the Sherman Act.

Boycotts are also important in labor law. While it has been established (though not without some struggle) that the refusal among workers in a union to work for a particular employer until he meets their demands is not itself violative of the antitrust laws, it is also generally the law that workers and unions may not take part in a “secondary boycott,” i.e., employ economic weapons, especially picket lines, to coerce an employer with whom the union has no labor dispute to cease doing business with one with whom it does. Thus, e.g., it would be an unlawful secondary boycott (under § 8(b)(4)(ii)(B) of the NLRA) for the union representing an automobile manufacturer”s workers to picket in front of an auto retailer”s showroom. Secondary boycott doctrine does, however, have several niceties. It is, e.g., all right to picket the “innocent” secondary employer if it is done at the work place of the primary one, i.e., the one with which the union has a labor dispute. And one can picket at a secondary site if the intent is to persuade purchasers not to buy one product of the many the target sells, e.g., it does not violate the law to picket against apples at a large supermarket. But if the single product is the only thing the secondary party sells, then the secondary boycott activities do violate the act.


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Boycott in the Dictionary Boycott in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Boycott
Legal Maxims Maxims are established principles that jurists use as interpretive tools, invoked more frequently in international law
Legal Answers (Q&A) A community-driven knowledge creation process, of enduring value to a broad audience
Related topics Boycott in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Boycott Is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This definition needs to be proofread..

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


Resource Description
Topic Map A group of names, occurrences and associations
Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies The URI of Boycott (more about URIs)


Legal English Vocabulary: Boycott in Spanish

Online translation of the English legal term boycott into Spanish: boicot (English to Spanish translation) . More about legal dictionary from english to spanish online.

Related to the Legal Thesaurus

Boycott in Global Commerce Policy

In this regard, a definition of this issue is as follows: the refusal to supply a country or a firm, to import or buy from it, or to deal with it in other ways. This may in certain cases constitute an anti- competitive practice or a restrictive business practice.[1]

Boycottin the wold Encyclopedia

For an introductory overview on international trade policy, see this entry.


Notes and References

  1. Dictionary of Trade Policy, “Boycott” entry (OAS)

See Also


See Also

  • International Trade
  • Trade Regulation
  • International Economic Law
  • Export License
  • International Trade Law
  • Foreign Trade
  • Safeguard



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