From the second edition (1989):
Luddite, n. (a.)
(ˈlʌdaɪt) [f. the proper name Lud or Ludd + -ite.
According to Pellew's Life of Lord Sidmouth (1847) III. 80, Ned Lud was a person of weak intellect who lived in a Leicestershire village about 1779, and who in a fit of insane rage rushed into a ‘stockinger's’ house, and destroyed two frames so completely that the saying ‘Lud must have been here’ came to be used throughout the hosiery districts when a stocking-frame had undergone extraordinary damage. The story lacks confirmation. It appears that in 1811–13 the nickname ‘Captain Ludd’ or ‘King Lud’ was commonly given to the ringleaders of the Luddites.]


A member of an organized band of English mechanics and their friends, who (1811–16) set themselves to destroy manufacturing machinery in the midlands and north of England.

1811 Hist. Eur. in Ann. Reg. 93/2 The rioters assumed the name of Luddites and acted under the authority of an imaginary Captain Ludd. 1812 Examiner 4 May 277/1 The Luddites at Nottingham‥have relinquished their system of frame-breaking. The person known by the name of King Ludd is taken‥His name is Walker; he was a collier. 1816 Byron To Moore 24 Dec., Are you not near the Luddites? And down with all kings but King Ludd? 1888 F. Peel Risings of Luddites 32 The names they assumed were ‘Ludds’, ‘Ludders’, and ‘Luddites’. 1897 S. & B. Webb Industrial Democracy (1902) 220 note, We need only remind the reader‥of such angry insurrections as those of the Luddites in 1811.


b. transf. One who opposes the introduction of new technology, esp. into a place of work.

1970 New Scientist 10 Sept. 549 They [sc. errors] can be prevented by improved systems and organization. But first it is necessary to overcome the professional and official luddites. 1986 Economist 10 May 13/1 By suggesting‥that the modern world has lost control of its technology, both [accidents] help to strengthen the hands of Luddites who would halt technology and therefore a lot of economic growth.


2. attrib. or adj. Pertaining to the Luddites.

1812 Gentl. Mag. LXXXII. i. 285/1 The Luddite system. 1814 Ibid. LXXXIV. ii. 387/2 The Luddite ring-leader‥dropped dead. 1874 Green Short Hist. x. §4. 806 The Luddite, or machine-breaking, riots. 1957 Ann. Reg. 1956 23 A Labour spokesman‥assured the Minister that organized workers were by no means wedded to a ‘Luddite’ philosophy. 1965 Times 29 Dec. 5 Port capacity can be greatly increased by quick installation of modern equipment—if the Indian Government is really determined to override the Luddite resistance of wharf labour. 1976 Survey Summer–Autumn 212 The Luddite view‥is particularly tempting when it comes to military technology. 1986 N.Y. Times 5 May a10/3 There seemed to be no real desire to turn back, no sweeping Luddite reaction to all technology.


Hence ˈLudditism = Luddism.

1830 Fraser's Mag. II. 426 A bill‥for the suppression of Ludditism in Nottinghamshire. 1971 Guardian Weekly 19 June 20 In an uprising against ignorance and psychopathology Ludditism has no place. 1983 Times Lit. Suppl. 18 Mar. 256/4 The blame for world catastrophe is to be placed‥on the blind forces of unscientific nature, which might include items like messianic Ludditism. 1986 Financial Times 11 Feb. 38/3 More efficient farmers should not be penalised by institutionalised Ludditism.