ex·​pan·​sion·​ism | \ ik-ˈspan(t)-shə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce expansionism (audio) \

Definition of expansionism

: a policy or practice of expansion and especially of territorial expansion by a nation

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Other Words from expansionism

expansionist \ ik-​ˈspan(t)-​sh(ə-​)nist How to pronounce expansionist (audio) \ noun
expansionist or less commonly expansionistic \ ik-​ˌspan(t)-​shə-​ˈni-​stik How to pronounce expansionistic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of expansionism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Donald Trump, too, has picked up this theme of American expansionism, and pushed it even further. Marina Koren, The Atlantic, "The Language of Space Exploration Is Stuck in the 1800s," 17 Sep. 2020 Kate Clarke Lemay and Taína Caragol of the Smithsonian's National Portrait Gallery are at work on an upcoming 2023 exhibition on U.S. expansionism and the Spanish American War—the period of Roosevelt's ascendency. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, "The Racist Statue of Theodore Roosevelt Will No Longer Loom Over the American Museum of Natural History," 23 June 2020 Its previous campaigns targeting South African apartheid, on which the CCP has modeled so much of its policies, or the current efforts to slow Israeli expansionism, provide models. Casey Michel, The New Republic, "The Left’s Deafening Silence on China’s Ethnic Cleansing," 7 July 2020 And as tensions rise with China and with months of economic gloom ahead, officials in Washington see an opportunity to score a win over Beijing’s expansionism. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "White House sees British trade talks as 'chance to cement anti-China alliance'," 5 May 2020 Bill Clinton’s administration, meanwhile, expanded the NATO alliance while staying on good terms with Russia; forced the Haitian junta to step down; halted genocidal Serbian expansionism; helped bring peace to Ireland; and started no wars. Joseph O’neill, The New York Review of Books, "Brand New Dems?," 29 Apr. 2020 Vietnam, which borders China, is a potential ally against Beijing’s expansionism in the South China Sea. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "The Pentagon Is Canceling Military Exercises Because of Coronavirus," 3 Mar. 2020 The likely beneficiaries are the Houthis, Exhibit A in the Trump Administration's case against Iran's regional expansionism. Tim Lister, CNN, "Cracks are appearing in the Mideast's most important alliance. That's bad news for Trump," 22 Aug. 2019 In 2018, the two leaders preliminarily agreed to cooperate on oil and gas exploration in the South China Sea, in a move that angered many Filipinos wary of Chinese territorial expansionism in the region. Helen Regan, CNN, "Duterte says Xi Jinping offered him an oil and gas deal to ignore South China Sea ruling," 12 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'expansionism.' 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 expansionism

1899, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for expansionism

Time Traveler

The first known use of expansionism was in 1899

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Statistics for expansionism

Last Updated

20 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Expansionism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/expansionism. Accessed 24 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for expansionism


How to pronounce expansionism (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of expansionism

: the belief that a country should grow larger : a policy of increasing a country's size by expanding its territory

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