na·​tiv·​ism | \ ˈnā-ti-ˌvi-zəm How to pronounce nativism (audio) \

Definition of nativism

1 : a policy of favoring native inhabitants as opposed to immigrants
2 : the revival or perpetuation of an indigenous culture especially in opposition to acculturation

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Other Words from nativism

nativist \ ˈnā-​ti-​vist How to pronounce nativist (audio) \ noun or adjective
nativistic \ ˌnā-​ti-​ˈvi-​stik How to pronounce nativistic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of nativism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The arrival of large numbers of Jewish, Catholic and Asian immigrants to the United States around the turn of the 20th century, as well as rapid urbanization, led to a surge of both nativism and nostalgia. Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "‘I Was Teaching a Lot of Misconceptions.’ The Way American Kids Are Learning About the 'First Thanksgiving' Is Changing," 21 Nov. 2019 Perhaps, that presidential tribute offers some glimmer for hope that the extreme nativism that has taken hold in parts of America is only a passing current. Phillip Morris,, "Khizr Khan, a Gold Star Father and a great American: Phillip Morris," 18 Sep. 2019 Other countries have reacted to existing refugee flows -- many of which are already effected by climate change even if this is not widely discussed -- with shifts to nativism and often violent anti-immigrant rhetoric. James Griffiths, CNN, "What happens when parts of South Asia become unlivable? The climate crisis is already displacing millions," 17 July 2019 But, in an age of nativism and protectionism, other ways of seeing the world now predominate. The Economist, "When economists ruled the world," 31 Aug. 2019 Many blacks, for their part, say the royal wedding is a distraction from the rise of intolerance and anti-immigrant nativism in Brexit-era Britain. Ellen Barry, New York Times, "What Meghan Markle Means to Black Britons," 12 May 2018 The president’s immigration policy is a wholesale rejection of what’s best about American idealism in exchange for what’s worst about American nativism. Ron Charles, Washington Post, "Don’t let the Trump administration vandalize Lady Liberty’s inspiring message," 14 Aug. 2019 The idea of speaking Spanish during a presidential debate makes sense for a party that’s trying to both appeal to Latino voters and portray itself as the defender of American diversity against Trumpian nativism. Dara Lind, Vox, "4 winners and 3 losers from the first night of the Democratic debates," 27 June 2019 Toni Morrison approached the enduring phenomenon of American bigotry and nativism from many angles. David Remnick, The New Yorker, "What Toni Morrison Understood About Hate," 9 Aug. 2019

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

1844, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for nativism

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The first known use of nativism was in 1844

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Statistics for nativism

Last Updated

29 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Nativism.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 10 December 2019.

More from Merriam-Webster on nativism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with nativism Encyclopedia article about nativism

Comments on nativism

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


to state or do over again or repeatedly

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