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

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Other Words from exceptionalism

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

Examples of exceptionalism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Even as stock performance synchronized after last year’s U.S. exceptionalism, economic data suggested the U.S. has again jumped out in front. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Three Things to Think About if You Fear a Slowdown," 12 Feb. 2019 But from mid-May until the September peak American exceptionalism kicked in: the S&P jumped 7.3% to a new high, while the rest fell 3.2%. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Tying American Stocks to the Rest of the World," 8 Jan. 2019 Torn in the USA Still pie-eyed on American exceptionalism post-Independence Day? Maureen Dowd offers a hangover cure. Rachel Mosely, Town & Country, "The 1% Daily," 7 July 2014 And from that has arisen the anxiety that our exceptionalism is at best simply odd, and at worst simply arrogant. Allen C. Guelzo, WSJ, "America Was Always an Exceptional Nation, but Is It Still?," 23 Nov. 2018 Chilean exceptionalism is also a regional phenomenon. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "Fast Chilean Growth Can Happen Again," 11 Mar. 2018 Just like Lucas’ films, which frame Anakin Skywalker and his progeny as the literal Chosen Ones, the single most important people in the galaxy, Crimes of Grindelwald falls into the exceptionalism trap. Chaim Gartenberg, The Verge, "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald is the franchise’s Attack of the Clones when it should be The Last Jedi," 27 Nov. 2018 Charles Krauthammer, giving his take on American exceptionalism. Fox News, "FOX NEWS FIRST: Remembering Charles Krauthammer; Melania's fashion 'statement' sparks 'fake news' frenzy," 22 June 2018 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

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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Statistics for exceptionalism

Last Updated

22 May 2019

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Time Traveler for exceptionalism

The first known use of exceptionalism was in 1929

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