nationalism

noun
na·​tion·​al·​ism | \ ˈnash-nə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce nationalism (audio) , ˈna-shə-nə-ˌli-zəm \

Definition of nationalism

1 : loyalty and devotion to a nation especially : a sense of national consciousness (see consciousness sense 1c) exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups Intense nationalism was one of the causes of the war.
2 : a nationalist movement or government opposing nationalisms

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Frequently Asked Questions About nationalism

What is the difference between nationalism and patriotism?

Nationalism and patriotism are similar insofar as both words emphasize strong feelings for one’s country. However, the two words are not synonymous. Nationalism, while it refers to loyalty and devotion to a nation, tends to imply the placing of that nation above others, a tendency that is not necessarily implicit in patriotism.

Is nationalism a proper noun?

Proper noun is defined as "a noun that designates a particular being or thing, does not take a limiting modifier, and is usually capitalized in English." Nationalism does not meet these criteria, and therefore is not a proper noun.

What is difference between nationalism and jingoism?

Nationalism and jingoism are closely related, as both words refer to an exaltation of one’s own nation and feelings of cultural superiority. However, jingoism, unlike nationalism, always implies military aggressiveness.

Examples of nationalism in a Sentence

The war was caused by nationalism and greed. Nazism's almost epic nationalism appealed to downtrodden Germans still suffering the humiliation of being defeated in World War I.
Recent Examples on the Web In a cycle of reactivity, ordinary people turn not to social democracy—now at its weakest point since World War II—but to the vicarious and counterfeit satisfactions of extreme nationalism. Robert Kuttner, The New York Review of Books, "Can We Fix Capitalism?," 8 Sep. 2020 The film is, put crudely, an Americanized celebration of Chinese nationalism, on a two-hundred-million-dollar budget. Jane Hu, The New Yorker, "The New “Mulan” ’s Uncomfortable Relationship with China’s Past and Present," 8 Sep. 2020 Only a return to the robust American nationalism of Alexander Hamilton, Henry Clay and Theodore Roosevelt would do: ambitious national projects, infrastructure, federal programs to increase social mobility. David Brooks, Star Tribune, "Where do Republicans go from here?," 10 Aug. 2020 There’s a good ethical reason not to have absolute vaccine nationalism. Jim Daley, Scientific American, "How to Decide Who Should Get a COVID-19 Vaccine First," 3 Sep. 2020 Think pieces were written about the films themes of nationalism, family and the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) in the Black community. Lisa Respers France, CNN, "Chadwick Boseman gave us the superhero we so desperately needed," 29 Aug. 2020 But the assertive, at times virulent, brand of nationalism in today’s world, and growing tension between its key powers, are making international coordination difficult. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, "The COVID ‘vaccine war’ that everybody loses," 11 Aug. 2020 While a certain amount of nationalism can help both leaders, anything that could trigger a war would be devastating. Bloomberg.com, "Trump Tests China’s Red Line on Taiwan Using Beijing’s Playbook," 10 Aug. 2020 The rise of Hindu nationalism is not only a response to domestic pressures. Walter Russell Mead, WSJ, "Saffron India Is an Opportunity and Danger," 10 Aug. 2020

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

1798, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for nationalism

Time Traveler

The first known use of nationalism was in 1798

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Statistics for nationalism

Last Updated

19 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nationalism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nationalism. Accessed 21 Sep. 2020.

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More Definitions for nationalism

nationalism

noun
How to pronounce nationalism (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of nationalism

: a feeling that people have of being loyal to and proud of their country often with the belief that it is better and more important than other countries
: a desire by a large group of people (such as people who share the same culture, history, language, etc.) to form a separate and independent nation of their own

nationalism

noun
na·​tion·​al·​ism | \ ˈna-shə-nə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce nationalism (audio) \

Kids Definition of nationalism

: devotion to the interests of a certain country and belief that it is better and more important than other countries

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