de·​col·​o·​ni·​za·​tion (ˌ)dē-ˌkä-lə-nə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce decolonization (audio)
: the act or practice of decolonizing
[Frantz] Fanon also described mental decolonization, the shedding of the colonizer's values and practices …Jackie Byars
[Ngũgĩ wa] Thiong'o is a passionate advocate for African authors writing in their native tongue as a form of preserving culture and achieving linguistic decolonization. "Language, any language, has a dual character: it is both a means of communication and a carrier of culture," he has written.Jackie Bischof
The 20th century may be defined in the West by the World Wars and the Cold War, but for much of the rest of the planet it was the age of decolonization, when old structures of (often racial) domination and power gave way to new states, new nations, and new politics.Kanishk Tharoor

Examples of decolonization in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The decolonization of the British Empire throughout the nineteen-fifties and sixties brought particular attention to Ian Fleming’s famous debonair spy, James Bond. The New Yorker, 12 June 2024 The twentieth century abounds with examples of failures to uphold the equal dignity of all: the violence used against those advocating for decolonization, the Vietnam War, the genocides in Cambodia and Rwanda, the wars that followed the breakup of Yugoslavia, and many more. Agnès Callamard, Foreign Affairs, 15 Feb. 2024 The narrative of decolonization, national liberation, and Israel as imperialist aggressor is well represented in course curricula. Daniel Foster, National Review, 30 Nov. 2023 Being takes the form of a teacher helming decolonization workshops that combine poetry, dance, storytelling, critical pedagogy, and meditation. Okla Jones, Essence, 23 Jan. 2024 That Ian Fleming should have thought about decolonization at all was surprising. Daniel Immerwahr, The New Yorker, 8 Jan. 2024 Despite his efforts towards the decolonization of Africa, the Congo Crisis intensifies. Marta Balaga, Variety, 24 Jan. 2024 The idea of a rebellion orgy gave me new respect for this silly cocktail, popular in the Eighties, amid a nostalgia for the tropics, in the wake of the decolonization of much of the globe. Jordan Castro, Harper's Magazine, 5 Jan. 2024 There was no anti-colonial struggle or struggle for decolonization without violence. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 11 Oct. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'decolonization.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1836, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of decolonization was in 1836

Dictionary Entries Near decolonization

Cite this Entry

“Decolonization.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2024.

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