Definition of imperialism
1 : imperial government, authority, or system
2 : the policy, practice, or advocacy of extending the power and dominion of a nation especially by direct territorial acquisitions or by gaining indirect control over the political or economic life of other areas; broadly : the extension or imposition of power, authority, or influence <union imperialism>
imperialistplay \im-ˈpir-ē-ə-list\ noun or adjective
imperialisticplay \im-ˌpir-ē-ə-ˈli-stik\ adjective
imperialisticallyplay \im-ˌpir-ē-ə-ˈli-sti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
Examples of imperialism in a sentence
British imperialism created the enormous British Empire.
Linguistic Roots of imperialism
The original meaning of imperialism was a simple one: "imperial government," that is, empire in the classical sense (such as existed in ancient Rome, China, and Greece). In more recent times, imperialism has become synonymous with western hegemony in Africa and Asia from the 18th through the 20th centuries and with the spreading cultural influence of the United States. Formerly implying military and governmental dominance, the word today is often invoked in a wider variety of contexts, such as cultural imperialism, media imperialism, and economic imperialism. And while there has been considerable debate about net the effects of western dominance in other parts of the world, in its current use, imperialism often carries a negative connotation.
First Known Use of imperialism
IMPERIALISM Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of imperialism for English Language Learners
: a policy or practice by which a country increases its power by gaining control over other areas of the world
: the effect that a powerful country or group of countries has in changing or influencing the way people live in other, poorer countries
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