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

Definition of isolationism

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

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Other Words from isolationism

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

Examples of isolationism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Khanna's non-interventionist philosophy does not verge into isolationism. Grace Segers, CBS News, "What does a progressive foreign policy look like? Rep. Ro Khanna says he has the answer," 8 Aug. 2019 Spike Jonze’s movie ‘Her’ explores social isolationism in a world dominated by AI that can learn from us. Jevon Phillips, Los Angeles Times, "Meet the ‘Westworld’ panel moderator who showed Comic-Con how it’s done," 24 July 2019 With populism on the rise and the global system of trade and liberal democracy fraying, Ms. von der Leyen came across as passionately globalist, and rejected isolationism as unfit for Europe. New York Times, "First Woman Chosen for Top E.U. Job Wins Confirmation," 16 July 2019 That school of thought contributed to American isolationism and inaction as dangers gathered in Europe and Asia. Hal Brands, National Review, "Lessons from the Iraq War," 20 June 2019 The White House’s objective is not to retreat into isolationism, but rather to dismantle restraints on U.S. freedom of action and shift toward robust unilateralism. William A. Galston, WSJ, "Multilateralism May Survive Trump," 5 Feb. 2019 The human factor The fight to keep the Icelandic language in circulation should not be confused with isolationism. Caitlin Hu, Quartz, "Iceland is inventing a new vocabulary for a high-tech future," 2 June 2019 While the magazine was supportive of efforts to nominate conservatives to the Supreme Court and cut taxes, the magazine never embraced Trumpism’s trade priorities or purported isolationism, and decidedly never embraced Trump himself. Jane Coaston, Vox, "What the Weekly Standard meant to conservatism," 14 Dec. 2018 Macron wants Europe to lead the way toward more multilateralism, as opposed to isolationism, to address the worlds' challenges like migration, climate change, digital transformation and inequalities. Sylvie Corbet, Fox News, "How Macron won Trump's friendship, failed to influence him," 31 Aug. 2018

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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Statistics for isolationism

Last Updated

2 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for isolationism

The first known use of isolationism was in 1919

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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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with isolationism

Nglish: Translation of isolationism for Spanish Speakers

Comments on isolationism

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formidable, illustrious, or eminent

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