apart·​heid | \ ə-ˈpär-ˌtāt How to pronounce apartheid (audio) , -ˌtīt How to pronounce apartheid (audio) \

Definition of apartheid

1 : racial segregation specifically : a former policy of segregation and political and economic discrimination against non-European groups in the Republic of South Africa
2 : separation, segregation cultural apartheid gender apartheid

Examples of apartheid in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The idea hearkens back to the 1980s, when widespread divestment by universities in South African companies was one of the forces that helped end that country’s system of apartheid. Katherine Long, The Seattle Times, "Seattle University will become first college in state to divest of fossil fuels," 19 Sep. 2018 More than a quarter-century after the end of apartheid, South Africa is a mixed-race nation with a black majority and black president. Neil Shaw, Fox News, "South African white enclave tests e-currency to stand apart," 16 July 2018 When apartheid ended in 1994 the courts returned land to individuals who could show that they had been wrongfully deprived of it (a minority, given poor records and the passage of time). The Economist, "The Zimbabwean modelSouth Africa should not copy Mugabe’s land reform," 25 Jan. 2018 Similar technology helped apartheid-era South Africa withstand a 1980s oil embargo. Jeremy Page, WSJ, "North Korea Turns Coal Into Gas to Weather Sanctions," 17 Dec. 2018 The performance also showcased an unlikely connection between Los Angeles and South Africa, stretching back to the country’s fight to end apartheid in the early 1990s. Makeda Easter, latimes.com, "An American scholar was killed in South Africa nearly 25 years ago. Today her legacy lives on through music," 4 July 2018 Thorpe opposed apartheid in South Africa and minority rule in Rhodesia (modern-day Zimbabwe). Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "The True Story of “A Very English Scandal” and the Trials of a Closeted Gay Politician," 27 June 2018 The 1994 transition that brought an end to apartheid in South Africa brought peace to the country, for the most part. Chika Oduah, The Root, "‘Decolonize the Mind’: Black South Africans Are Figuring Out How to Heal From the Mental Damage of Apartheid," 19 May 2018 Overseas, Payne reported on apartheid in South Africa and guerrilla conflicts in Zimbabwe. Matthew Ormseth, courant.com, "Les Payne, Hartford Product An Pulitzer Prize-Winning Journalist, Dies at 76," 21 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'apartheid.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of apartheid

1947, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for apartheid

Afrikaans, from apart apart + -heid -hood

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Statistics for apartheid

Last Updated

25 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for apartheid

The first known use of apartheid was in 1947

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English Language Learners Definition of apartheid

: a former social system in South Africa in which black people and people from other racial groups did not have the same political and economic rights as white people and were forced to live separately from white people

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a sum of money that is sent as a payment

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