noun Bo·na·part·ism \ˈbō-nə-ˌpär-ˌti-zəm\

Definition of Bonapartism

  1. 1 :  support of the French emperors Napoleon I, Napoleon III, or their dynasty

  2. 2 :  a political movement associated chiefly with authoritarian rule usually by a military leader ostensibly supported by a popular mandate


play \-ˌpär-tist\ noun or adjective

Bonapartism was our Word of the Day on 02/28/2008. Hear the podcast!

Did You Know?

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.


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capable of being understood in two ways

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