It’s deciding to refuse to buy a certain product: clothing items, food…
Or to systematically reject a brand or company.
It can also be refusing to take part in a meeting, a competition or elections.
Or on a larger scale, to stop all relations with a country as a protest.
But why use a boycott?
To put pressure on a person, a company or a country, for them to change their behavior or their policy.
The expression comes from Charles Cunningham Boycott, a 19th-century British landowner.
The farmers working his land accused him of mistreatment. They revolted and refused to give him anything. The man ended up ruined.
Today, a company causing pollution could be the target of a boycott for ecological reasons.
Or the reason may be moral or ethical, for example consumers refusing to buy products made by children.
People may also refuse to buy products from a certain country because it has just started a war.
But sometimes a boycott is made for the wrong reasons. By tyrants or groups of intolerant people who are against the freedom of speech.
So, the most important thing is always to find out why a boycott was started in the first place!