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verb,, often capitalized bal·kan·ize \ˈbȯl-kə-ˌnīz\

Definition of balkanize


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 :  to break up (as a region or group) into smaller and often hostile units

  3. 2 :  divide, compartmentalize <now pop culture has been balkanized; it is full of niches, with different groups watching and playing their own things — Richard Corliss>

balkanization play \ˌbȯl-kə-nə-ˈzā-shən\ noun often capitalized

Did You Know?

The Balkan Peninsula of southeastern Europe is named for the Balkan Mountains, which stretch through Bulgaria from its western border with Serbia to the Black Sea. (Balkan derives from a Turkish word that means "mountain.") The region known as the Balkans is commonly thought to include Albania, Greece, Romania, the European portion of Turkey, and often surrounding areas. The decline of the Ottoman Empire in the 18th century led to a series of revolts that accelerated the fracturing of the region into a number of smaller states whose unstable coexistence led to violence that came to a head in World War I. Since 1919, balkanize and its related noun, balkanization have come to refer to the kind of divisive action that can weaken countries or groups, as well as other things.

Origin of balkanize

Balkan Peninsula

First Known Use: 1919

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up balkanize? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to manage or play awkwardly

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