il·​lib·​er·​al·​ism | \ (ˌ)i(l)-ˈli-b(ə-)rə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce illiberalism (audio) \

Definition of illiberalism

: opposition to or lack of liberalism

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Examples of illiberalism in a Sentence

a woman who fails to see that her unexamined faith in political liberalism actually makes her guilty of illiberalism

Recent Examples on the Web

In the context of growing illiberalism in Western countries as well, the news has been gloomy. Tom Ball, The New Republic, "How to Stage a Successful Revolution," 1 July 2019 Charlottesville has experienced Trump’s illiberalism first-hand Part of the outrage centers on the Miller Center’s location. Nicole Hemmer, Vox, "Ex-Trump staffers should not get plum jobs at elite universities," 24 July 2018 Advanced communications and computing technologies, once thought to be forces for cooperation and freedom, have been turned into weapons of illiberalism. Robert Kagan, WSJ, "The Cost of American Retreat," 7 Sep. 2018 The illiberalism here lies with the law’s critics, who would deny the Jewish state the freedom to legislate like a normal country. Eugene Kontorovich, WSJ, "Get Over It—Israel Is the Jewish State," 19 July 2018 Donald Trump did not ignite but merely joined a miserable, destabilizing trend of illiberalism that has been under way for years in Russia, Turkey, China, India, Southeast Asia, and Western, Eastern, and Central Europe. Rachel Aviv, The New Yorker, "Donald Trump and the Stress Test of Liberal Democracy," 13 Mar. 2017 Trump’s anger, paranoia, dishonesty, and illiberalism operate at human scale, in 140-character bursts. Ezra Klein, Vox, "American democracy has faced worse threats than Donald Trump," 10 May 2018 Do not ask when this choice between liberalism and illiberalism will come to America. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "A Democracy Disappears," 13 Apr. 2018 Radicals might have insisted that illiberalism and state Zionism were inextricable; that the maintenance of a majority-Jewish nation in a predominantly Muslim region would inevitably require discriminatory policies. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Natalie Portman and the Crisis of Liberal Zionism," 26 Apr. 2018

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

1839, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

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The first known use of illiberalism was in 1839

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