ex·cep·tion·al·ism | \ik-ˈsep-shnə-ˌli-zəm, -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

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exceptionalist \ik-ˈsep-shnə-list, -shə-nə- \ adjective

Examples of exceptionalism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The Lakers have missed the playoffs in every season since 2014 and whiffed on marquee free agents in recent off-seasons—a stinging rejection to the idea of Lakers exceptionalism. Ben Cohen, WSJ, "LeBron James Takes His Talents to the Los Angeles Lakers," 1 July 2018 Is American exceptionalism dead in the air of Donald Trump? Fox News, "Woolsey: Trump keeps the North Koreans off balance," 12 June 2018 Herein lay the justification for Gilpin’s remarkable, if fanciful, theory that rationalized American exceptionalism. Johnforristerross, Longreads, "Taming the Great American Desert," 2 July 2018 However, over the course of the 19th-century, American histories of the revolution minimized the allies’ role, building a nationalistic myth of raw courage and self-sufficiency that represented an early glimpse of American exceptionalism. Alice George, Smithsonian, "The American Revolution Was Just One Battlefront in a Huge World War," 28 June 2018 But that is exactly where the problem lies: in their unreadiness, not in our exceptionalism. Kate Branch, Vogue, "Why, at 31, I Finally Started Wearing My Afro," 29 June 2018 Bloom filed last week to go public, and a trot through its prospectus proves the point of Silicon Valley’s deserved exceptionalism. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Data Sheet—Why the Pride of Green Tech Startups Is Going Public," 18 June 2018 This stuff is often glossed over in our vision of American exceptionalism. Benjamin Hart, Daily Intelligencer, "A Decade at Obama’s Side: An Interview With Ben Rhodes," 17 June 2018 And yet for all the ink spilled by so many excellent journalists — from The Times’s own Neil Irwin to Vox’s Matt Yglesias, Bloomberg’s Noah Smith and many others — America is doubling down on its exceptionalism. New York Times, "The Profound Social Cost of American Exceptionalism," 29 May 2018

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.

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First Known Use of exceptionalism

1929, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of exceptionalism was in 1929

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