manifest destiny

noun, often capitalized M&D

Definition of manifest destiny

: a future event accepted as inevitable in the mid-19th century expansion to the Pacific was regarded as the Manifest Destiny of the United States broadly : an ostensibly benevolent or necessary policy of imperialistic expansion

Examples of manifest destiny in a Sentence

They were living in a time when expansion to the Pacific was regarded by many people as the Manifest Destiny of the United States.
Recent Examples on the Web Fox has long reinterpreted manifest destiny as a media product, treating the American mind as a vacant space upon which any dream, or any delusion, might be constructed. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, 12 July 2021 The natural environment with which Native Americans had established a harmonious and symbiotic relationship, was similarly despoiled by the twin logic of expropriation and colonization that spread under the logic of manifest destiny. Nicholas Dirks, Scientific American, 10 Aug. 2021 Now, manifest destiny has become a manifest emergency. CBS News, 18 July 2021 So what have Democrats gotten in exchange for embracing this manifest destiny nationalism? Kate Aronoff, The New Republic, 10 June 2021 The far-from-triumphant results of manifest destiny have become ever more obvious: the displacement or extermination of Native populations, the devastation of ecosystems, the faltering of the industries that promised prosperity. Jordan Kisner, The Atlantic, 19 Apr. 2021 The song turns a trip down a highway into a meditation on manifest destiny and its contemporary reverberations. Justin Curto, Vulture, 16 Apr. 2021 Though ultimately discredited following the atrocities endured during multiple years of Nazi reign, eugenic theory was steeped in this sinister view of genetic governance, manifest destiny run amok. Jessica Helfand, Scientific American, 13 Aug. 2020 Healing the Klamath means unspooling the bitter legacy of manifest destiny, and returning the river to a more natural state. Popular Science, 29 July 2020

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

1845, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of manifest destiny was in 1845

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Last Updated

19 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Manifest destiny.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for manifest destiny

manifest destiny


English Language Learners Definition of manifest destiny

: a future event that is sure to happen : a destiny that can be clearly seen and that cannot be changed

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