iso·​la·​tion·​ism | \ ˌī-sə-ˈlā-shə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce isolationism (audio) also ˌi- \

Definition of isolationism

: a policy of national isolation by abstention from alliances and other international political and economic relations

Other Words from isolationism

isolationist \ ˌī-​sə-​ˈlā-​sh(ə-​)nist How to pronounce isolationism (audio) also  ˌi-​ \ noun or adjective

Examples of isolationism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Pope Francis warned against the danger of isolationism and protectionism in dealing with the climate crisis. NBC News, 29 Oct. 2021 Greenwald’s perspective exemplifies a developing trend toward isolationism on the right, as leading figures ranging from media populists to the libertarian Rand Pauls capitalize on Trumpist rhetoric to further their worldviews. Aron Ravin, National Review, 20 July 2021 The Americans and the Holocaust traveling exhibition is a portrait of American society in the 1930s and ‘40s that shows what shaped Americans’ responses to Nazism, including the Great Depression, isolationism and antisemitism. Alan Goch,, 14 Oct. 2021 But with the value of higher education in question and enrollments on the decline, the costs of stagnation and isolationism are many times greater. Michael Horowitz, Forbes, 7 Sep. 2021 In his speech, the president said his new approach to dealing with the world would not lead to the kind of America First isolationism of Mr. Trump. New York Times, 31 Aug. 2021 The days of Trump’s America First isolationism that had seen the U.S. reject a multilateral trade bloc, rip up old treaties, and insult allies, were over. Debasish Roy Chowdhury, Time, 16 Aug. 2021 Even for a nationalist paleoconservative, retrospective Nazi-neutral World War II isolationism in 2021 is a somewhat shocking rhetorical position from which to mount a revisionist defense of Salazar (or, really, of anything). Cameron Hilditch, National Review, 12 Aug. 2021 Many of the country's career diplomats took roles in the foreign service during Myanmar's half century of military rule, which plunged Myanmar -- then called Burma -- into poverty, isolationism and civil war. Julia Hollingsworth, CNN, 28 June 2021

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

1919, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for isolationism

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The first known use of isolationism was in 1919

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Dictionary Entries Near isolationism

isolation booth



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Last Updated

17 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Isolationism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for isolationism



English Language Learners Definition of isolationism

: the belief that a country should not be involved with other countries : a policy of not making agreements or working with other countries

More from Merriam-Webster on isolationism

Nglish: Translation of isolationism for Spanish Speakers


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