iso·​la·​tion·​ism | \ˌī-sə-ˈlā-shə-ˌni-zəm also ˌi- \

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 also ˌi-​ \ noun or adjective

Examples of isolationism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This belief caused him in his final years to resist the drift in his own party toward isolationism. The Editorial Board, WSJ, "A Salute to John McCain," 26 Aug. 2018 Like Joffer searching for love, T'Challa must decide whether to end centuries of isolationism and reveal his country's technological marvels to the world. Matthew Wilson, USA TODAY, "How 'Coming To America' paved the way for 'Black Panther' 30 years ago," 29 June 2018 Earlier this year, the president wanted to use Syria as a prop for performing his isolationism, and therefore called on his advisers to plan an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from that country. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Trumpism Is Having Its Best Week Ever," 10 May 2018 Decades-old pieces about American isolationism, campaign finance, the prison system, news media, workplace discrimination, and gun violence resonate profoundly, and uncomfortably, with present-day events and articles. Annika Neklason, The Atlantic, "160 Years of the American Idea," 27 June 2018 The president has been accused of using this issue to stoke a public backlash against engagement and in favor of isolationism. Brian Finlay, Fortune, "Trump Might Be Right About NATO—but for All the Wrong Reasons," 6 July 2018 Schultz echoed Bush’s concerns about isolationism and also underscored the civic challenges faced by corporate America. Daniel Flatley,, "Bush Cautions Against Isolationism and Praises Humanitarian Work," 11 May 2018 His political rise depended on nationalism, nativism, isolationism. Matt Viser,, "Crutches, Twizzlers, and the end of John Kerry’s old-school diplomacy," 8 May 2018 Soros connects Eastern European autocrats and Trump Soros has long opposed the autocratic regimes of Eastern Europe and American conservative politics, well before the two converged around Islamophobia and isolationism in recent years. Jane Coaston, Vox, "Donald Trump Jr. suggested George Soros is a Nazi. That’s ridiculous.," 11 June 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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Last Updated

9 Dec 2018

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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

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