apartheid

noun
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

Clegg's music has been described as groundbreaking during the apartheid era. Kendall Trammell, CNN, "Legendary South African singer Johnny Clegg has died at age 66," 16 July 2019 Representative Ilhan Omar said that Israel was an apartheid regime. Brian Bennett, Time, "Read the Transcript of TIME's Interview With Benjamin Netanyahu," 13 July 2019 In 1964, South African black nationalist Nelson Mandela was sentenced to life in prison along with seven other people, including Walter Sisulu, for committing sabotage against the apartheid regime (all were eventually released, Mandela in 1990). BostonGlobe.com, "This day in history," 12 June 2019 Then trace the city’s history at the colonial Castle of Good Hope and the District Six Museum, dedicated to a vibrant community that was forcibly moved during the apartheid era. National Geographic, "Africa by Private Jet," 12 June 2019 The designer was born in the small town of Kimberley in 1993, one year prior to the abolishment of the oppressive apartheid regime. Cassidy George, Vogue, "Meet Thebe Magugu, the Designer at the Heart of South Africa’s Cultural Renaissance," 20 May 2019 The South African apartheid regime held bioweapons in the 1980s and ’90s while being a party to the BWC. R. Daniel Bressler, Vox, "“Designer bugs”: how the next pandemic might come from a lab," 6 Dec. 2018 Keeping pluralism at bay today is like keeping apartheid going in South Africa in the late 20th century, where white supremacists were driven to ever-more extreme and desperate expedients. K.n.c., The Economist, "The radical politics of futurists and fascists—and us, here, today," 19 July 2019 In the mid-1990s, South Africa’s Truth and Reconciliation Commission heard—and broadcast—testimony from people who committed egregious human rights violations under apartheid and from several thousand of those who suffered them. Lidija Haas, The New Republic, "Notes on Cancel Culture," 1 July 2019

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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Last Updated

12 Aug 2019

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The first known use of apartheid was in 1947

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More Definitions for apartheid

apartheid

noun

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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