par·​tic·​u·​lar·​ism pər-ˈti-k(yə-)lə-ˌri-zəm How to pronounce particularism (audio)
 also  pär-
: exclusive or special devotion to a particular interest
: a political theory that each political group has a right to promote its own interests and especially independence without regard to the interests of larger groups
: a tendency to explain complex social phenomena in terms of a single causative factor
pər-ˈti-k(yə-)lə-rist How to pronounce particularism (audio)
 also  pär-
noun or adjective
pər-ˌti-k(yə-)lə-ˈri-stik How to pronounce particularism (audio)
 also  pär-

Examples of particularism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Those include the tensions between religious belief and the academic understanding of religion; Jewish particularism and universalism; and how to construe the relationship between antinomian religious movements and modernity. Susan Neiman, The New York Review of Books, 6 Apr. 2023 But as Superman went through various metamorphoses, and corporate overseers, his Jewish particularism ebbed and flowed, depending on who was writing, acting, or directing. Jay Michaelson, Rolling Stone, 28 June 2023 In popular and political culture, Malcolm and Martin represented not just separation and integration but hate and love, particularism and universalism, resentment and reconciliation, North and South, the street and the church, and, to King’s particular frustration, masculinity and effeminacy. Brandon M. Terry, The New York Review of Books, 11 Mar. 2021 But French universalism has become its own very specific particularism. Rachel Donadio, The Atlantic, 22 Nov. 2021 Just as King has been shorn of his political radicalism—his democratic socialism, his anti-imperialism—his religious particularism is too often ignored. Matthew Sitman, The New Republic, 15 Apr. 2021 The task for our time is to preserve international stability while making a sustainable place for the domestic particularisms without which even the most rational of structures will collapse upon itself for want of popular legitimacy. A. Wess Mitchell, National Review, 2 Apr. 2020 In the twenty-first century, examples of this modern particularism are rife. Adam Tooze, The New York Review of Books, 28 Jan. 2020 Her sense of humor has a rooted particularism, and her comic timing is sharp. Margaret Talbot, The New Yorker, 11 Nov. 2019 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'particularism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1834, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of particularism was circa 1834

Dictionary Entries Near particularism

Cite this Entry

“Particularism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Oct. 2023.

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