ex·​cep·​tion·​al·​ism | \ ik-ˈsep-shnə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce exceptionalism (audio) , -shə-nə- \

Definition of exceptionalism

: the condition of being different from the norm also : a theory expounding the exceptionalism especially of a nation or region

Other Words from exceptionalism

exceptionalist \ ik-​ˈsep-​shnə-​list How to pronounce exceptionalism (audio) , -​shə-​nə-​ \ adjective

Examples of exceptionalism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Today, Chinese readers see him as one of the earliest apostates of the church of American exceptionalism, which spurred many families to immigrate to the United States during the heyday of market reforms. Chang Che, The New Yorker, 21 Mar. 2022 Ketanji Brown Jackson, 51, who currently sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, is an accomplished jurist, a graduate of Harvard Law School and a believer in American exceptionalism. Washington Post, 26 Feb. 2022 These two horrifying moments—in 1963 and 2021—forced me to shed aspects of my naïve belief in American exceptionalism. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, 6 Jan. 2022 Trump’s rise largely coincided with a push and pull over American exceptionalism that has now outlasted his presidency. Parker Richards, The New Republic, 17 Mar. 2022 How does cannabis exceptionalism harm the larger drug reform movement? Evan Nison, Rolling Stone, 25 Jan. 2022 However, too often, young people feel pressure to manufacture exceptionalism. Brennan Barnard, Forbes, 4 Jan. 2022 Cannabis exceptionalism ultimately reverses social progress made toward ending the drug war. Evan Nison, Rolling Stone, 25 Jan. 2022 In a sense, Will Smith and Chris Rock find themselves, in front of a global audience, enacting dual sides of American exceptionalism. Peniel E. Joseph, CNN, 28 Mar. 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of exceptionalism

1929, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for exceptionalism

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The first known use of exceptionalism was in 1929

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Last Updated

10 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Exceptionalism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exceptionalism. Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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