jin·​go·​ism ˈjiŋ-(ˌ)gō-ˌi-zəm How to pronounce jingoism (audio)
: extreme chauvinism or nationalism marked especially by a belligerent foreign policy
jingoist noun or adjective
jingoistic adjective
jingoistically adverb

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Jingoism Got Its Start in the 19th Century

Jingoism originated during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-1878, when many British citizens were hostile toward Russia and felt Britain should intervene in the conflict. Supporters of the cause expressed their sentiments in a music-hall ditty with this refrain:

We don't want to fight, yet by jingo if we do,

We've got the ships, we've got the men,

We've got the money, too!

Someone holding the attitude implied in the song became known as a jingo or jingoist, and the attitude itself was dubbed jingoism. The jingo in the tune is probably a euphemism for Jesus.

Examples of jingoism in a Sentence

When the war began many people were caught up in a wave of jingoism. his loudmouthed jingoism will not win us any foreign allies
Recent Examples on the Web Much of this was done in the spirit of defensive jingoism. Ian Buruma, The New Yorker, 16 Oct. 2023 Still at Eton and too young to fight in World War I, Orwell penned vulgar poems suffused with the jingoism for which his elite school was famous. Peter Stansky, Foreign Affairs, 18 Apr. 2023 It can be dismissed as jingoism or taken as a warning. Armond White, National Review, 22 Mar. 2023 But the reality is perhaps more banal: A daily drip-feed of Toryphilia, xenophobia, left-baiting, and jingoism that, even if not always believed by readers, lets the Conservative Party convincingly claim to reflect—rather than shape—the national mood. Samuel Earle, The New Republic, 23 Feb. 2021 Transformers offered an outlandish spectacle that can be accused of many things — excess, jingoism, sexism, shameless product placement — but not a lack of ambition. Nick Allen, Vulture, 4 Apr. 2023 Given the 45th president’s propensity for gaudy theatrics—the Kremlin-esque jingoism of the Rose Garden press conference, the gold curtains in the Oval Office—the gilded sedans of The Great American Parade seem to anticipate the tawdry spectacles of the Trump administration. Barrett Swanson, The New Republic, 6 Aug. 2020 That lends more than a touch of jingoism to this otherwise amusing, mechanistic parlor trick, which builds to a surge of emotion that might make your heart sink or soar. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 16 Mar. 2023 His adolescence was spent in English public schools immediately after World War II, where the boys did military training in uniform, jingoism was the norm, and—at least for one final generation—empire was an inheritance. Ben Rhodes, The Atlantic, 28 Feb. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'jingoism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


see jingo entry 2

First Known Use

1878, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of jingoism was in 1878


Dictionary Entries Near jingoism

Cite this Entry

“Jingoism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/jingoism. Accessed 22 Feb. 2024.

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