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

Keep scrolling for more

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 His campaign in 2019 was fueled by a combination of Hindu nationalism, economic populism and air strikes against arch-rival Pakistan. Ronojoy Mazumdar, Bloomberg.com, "Modi’s Nationalism Masks a Bad Economy, Protesters Say," 5 May 2020 While these incidents have been mostly isolated, the virus fears are only amplifying existing prejudices, playing into growing Hindu nationalism which in recent years has seen India's Muslim societies increasingly marginalized. Helen Regan, CNN, "India's Muslims feel targeted by rumors they're spreading Covid-19," 23 Apr. 2020 But the desiccated logic of transnationalism is proving little match for the affect-laden cohesion of nationalism. Peter Rough, National Review, "The European Union Needs More National Flexibility," 22 Apr. 2020 Many within India’s news firmament have embraced Mr. Modi, sensing how much the popular mood has swung away from India’s founding secularism and toward Mr. Modi’s brand of strident Hindu nationalism. Vindu Goel, New York Times, "Under Modi, India’s Press Is Not So Free Anymore," 2 Apr. 2020 In one video posted online on Feb. 25, a man climbed a mosque carrying a saffron flag, a symbol of Hindu nationalism, as black smoke billowed in the background. Time, "'Hate Is Being Preached Openly Against Us.' After Delhi Riots, Muslims in India Fear What's Next," 3 Mar. 2020 This community — in a period of rising Hindu nationalism across the land — has in recent years increasingly been the target of oppression, persecution and harassment. Neil Young, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Nasir': Film Review | Rotterdam 2020," 27 Jan. 2020 But there has been no particular victory for the philosophy of Hindu nationalism and no noticeable vanquishing of the idea of inclusiveness and unity championed by Gandhi, Nehru and Tagore. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, "Amartya Sen’s Hopes and Fears for Indian Democracy," 6 Oct. 2019 The conference will focus on whether the rise of nationalism in Europe and America is a threat or a virtue. Jonathan Stearns, Bloomberg.com, "Brussels Edition: Declaring War on Cancer," 7 May 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.

See More

First Known Use of nationalism

1798, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nationalism

Time Traveler for nationalism

Time Traveler

The first known use of nationalism was in 1798

See more words from the same year

Statistics for nationalism

Last Updated

1 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nationalism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/nationalism. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on nationalism

What made you want to look up nationalism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

See Definitions and Examples »

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

May 2020 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a blooming wisteria tree
  • Which is a synonym of exiguous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!