na·​tion·​al·​ist | \ ˈnash-nə-list How to pronounce nationalist (audio) , ˈna-shə-nə-list \

Definition of nationalist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : an advocate of or believer in nationalism
2 : a member of a political party or group advocating national independence or strong national government



Definition of nationalist (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or advocating nationalism
2 : of, relating to, or being a political group advocating or associated with nationalism

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of nationalist in a Sentence

Noun a staunch nationalist who favored any policy that would give the country more power in the international arena Adjective The country's Nationalist Party won the election. a nationalist rant against the immigrants supposedly flooding the country
See More
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The video, posted by a White nationalist, showed a 2019 crime in which a Black man shoved a White woman on a New York City subway platform. Donie O'sullivan And Daniel Dale, CNN, "Republicans are flooding the internet with deceptive videos and Big Tech isn't keeping up," 1 Sep. 2020 In 1960, during the Algerian war for independence, Ms. Halimi represented Djamila Boupacha, an Algerian nationalist who was charged with attempting to bomb a cafe near the University of Algiers and then raped and tortured while in French custody. Rachel Felder,, "Gisèle Halimi, influential French lawyer and feminist, 93," 19 Aug. 2020 Anthony Everitt, the British author of the recent biography Alexander the Great, agrees that Aristotle was a hard-core nationalist. Myrto Papadopoulos, Smithsonian Magazine, "The King and the Conqueror," 8 June 2020 Weber was a progressive nationalist, moving between social democracy and the political center. George Blaustein, The New Republic, "Searching for Consolation in Max Weber’s Work Ethic," 2 July 2020 Thanks to his liberal politics, Palme was loathed by the hard right nationalist underground, which went into hiding after World War II but clung like lichen to parts of Scandinavian society. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "Who Killed Olof Palme?," 10 June 2020 And some Hindu nationalists in India have blamed Muslims for the country’s outbreak, leading to a surge in hate crimes. Katherine Marshall, The Conversation, "Beating coronavirus requires faith leaders to bridge gap between religion and science," 22 Apr. 2020 Myanmar’s 2017 genocide perpetrated by Buddhist nationalists against Rohingya Muslims was preceded by a campaign of dehumanizing hate speech on Facebook. Billy Perrigo, Time, "It Was Already Dangerous to Be Muslim in India. Then Came the Coronavirus," 3 Apr. 2020 Pedro Sánchez, the Socialist leader, became prime minister in June 2018 following a censure motion against the then prime minister, Mariano Rajoy, backed by the Catalan nationalists. The Economist, "Catalan nationalists protest as their leaders are jailed for sedition," 17 Oct. 2019 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective Enacted in early 1958, the UAR had been the first step towards the ultimate Arab nationalist dream: the unification of Arab countries into a single state after Ottoman occupation and European colonial division. Sam Sweeney, National Review, "The Zero-Sum Game of Syrian Politics," 6 Sep. 2020 The framework described in Science aims to prevent such selfish nationalist impulses. Jim Daley, Scientific American, "How to Decide Who Should Get a COVID-19 Vaccine First," 3 Sep. 2020 Stepping up enforcement against Hindu nationalist extremists also carries the risk of public backlash. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "Will Facebook Ban Hate Speech From India’s Ruling Party?," 3 Sep. 2020 Seen in that light, the Mongolian language policy change fits in the larger pattern of the state asserting its power at all costs, particularly at a time when nationalist sentiments are on the upturn. Isabella Steger, Quartz, "China’s insatiable appetite for control is forcing even its “model minority” to rebel," 3 Sep. 2020 But analysts fear that rising nationalist forces in the world's two most populous countries could fuel these simmering border disputes, especially as both sides look to distract the public from the economic and human costs of the Covid-19 pandemic. Joshua Berlinger And Manveena Suri, CNN, "China accuses India of conducting 'flagrant provocations' as simmering border standoff heats up," 1 Sep. 2020 The defeat, one of the most devastating of the war for Japanese ground forces, helped the Indian military come into its own, historians believe, and helped spur nationalist movements in India and parts of Africa. Maria Abi-habib, New York Times, "The Forgotten Colonial Forces of World War II," 1 Sep. 2020 Tucker Carlson, the Fox News host who regularly espouses white-nationalist views, even offered a forceful defense of Rittenhouse’s motives in his Wednesday broadcast. Matt Ford, The New Republic, "The Violent Delights of the Trumpian Right," 28 Aug. 2020 Some critics saw it as part of a pattern by the Hindu-nationalist government aimed at sidelining Muslims. NBC News, "Militants attack in Indian Kashmir as it locks down for anniversary," 5 Aug. 2020

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


1715, in the meaning defined at sense 1


1884, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about nationalist

Time Traveler for nationalist

Time Traveler

The first known use of nationalist was in 1715

See more words from the same year

Statistics for nationalist

Last Updated

8 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Nationalist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Sep. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for nationalist


How to pronounce nationalist (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of nationalist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: a supporter of or believer in nationalism
: a member of a political group that wants to form a separate and independent nation



English Language Learners Definition of nationalist (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to nationalism
: of or relating to a political group that wants to form a separate and independent nation


na·​tion·​al·​ist | \ ˈna-shə-nə-list How to pronounce nationalist (audio) \

Kids Definition of nationalist

: a person who believes that his or her country is better and more important than other countries

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on nationalist

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Homophone Quiz

  • three bears two of them look like theyre whispering to a third bear who looks chuffed to be the center of attention
  • In order to judge how people felt, the senator's office hired a firm to take a ______.
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Syn City

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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