Bo·​na·​part·​ism | \ ˈbō-nə-ˌpär-ˌti-zəm How to pronounce Bonapartism (audio) \

Definition of Bonapartism

1 : support of the French emperors Napoleon I, Napoleon III, or their dynasty
2 : a political movement associated chiefly with authoritarian rule usually by a military leader ostensibly supported by a popular mandate

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Other Words from Bonapartism

Bonapartist \ ˈbō-​nə-​ˌpär-​tist How to pronounce Bonapartism (audio) \ noun or adjective

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Napoleon I (Napoleon Bonaparte) came to power in France by military coup in 1799 and ruled as emperor from 1804 until he was forced from power in 1815. The year 1815 was clearly a bad one for Bonaparte: he was defeated at Waterloo by the Duke of Wellington and sent into exile. Coincidentally, 1815 was also the year that marked the debut in English of Bonapartism, the word derived from his name. Waterloo, a term for a decisive defeat such as the one Napoleon suffered, had come into general English use by 1816.

First Known Use of Bonapartism

1815, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of Bonapartism was in 1815

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Cite this Entry

“Bonapartism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2021.

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