nationalism

noun
na·​tion·​al·​ism | \ ˈnash-nə-ˌli-zəm , 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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The Difference Between Nationalism, Patriotism, Sectionalism, and Jingoism

Nationalism has a number of near-synonyms, each of which carries its own distinct meaning. Patriotism is similar insofar as it emphasizes strong feelings for one’s country, but it does not necessarily imply an attitude of superiority. Sectionalism resembles nationalism in its suggestion of a geopolitical group pursuing its self-interest, but the group in question is usually smaller than an entire nation. Jingoism closely resembles nationalism in suggesting feelings of cultural superiority, but unlike nationalism, it 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

His plea Tuesday for stronger bonds among peoples came as nationalism and a suspicion of migrants are gaining traction across much of the globe. Frances D'emilio, The Seattle Times, "Pope’s Christmas wish: World fraternity despite differences," 26 Dec. 2018 Realistic or not, the allure of his message is steeped in the language of nostalgia for a better time — and in a sense of economic nationalism that some fear could reverse important gains of the last 25 years. New York Times, "López Obrador, an Atypical Leftist, Wins Mexico Presidency in Landslide," 2 July 2018 That won't be easy while the economy is growing, and Trump is daily playing so many chords -- from economic nationalism on trade to racially tinged populism on immigration and crime -- that resonate with white working-class voters. Ronald Brownstein, CNN, "The connection that may decide 2018 isn't what you think," 8 May 2018 Developments such as the dada art movement, a reaction to the insanity of the war that rejected logic, embraced irrationality and scorned nationalism, also provide a framework for modern understanding of the widespread effects on society. Chuck Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "What You Need To Know Before Watching "They Shall Not Grow Old"," 28 Dec. 2018 Jonah Goldberg is up next and says the rebirth of populism and nationalism is destroying American democracy. Fox News, "Browder 'appalled' by White House reaction to Putin request," 19 July 2018 But this is where anti-migrant policy, populism and nationalism create confused and sometimes contradictory positions. Steven Erlanger, New York Times, "Migration to Europe Is Slowing, but the Political Issue Is as Toxic as Ever," 22 June 2018 His promises to roll back economic reforms are part of his view that Mexico needs to return to the days of populism, nationalism and corporatism. Mary Anastasia O’grady, WSJ, "Mexico’s Two-Man Race," 29 Apr. 2018 Bannonism is essentially the notion that a blend of populism and nationalism, with a bit of nihilism sprinkled in for good measure, is the need of the hour — if one’s objective is to save Western civilization, or at least America’s place within it. David L. Bahnsen, National Review, "The Tragedy of Bannonism," 10 Jan. 2018

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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More Definitions for nationalism

nationalism

noun

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 \

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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