re·​foule·​ment | \ rə-ˌfül-ˈmän How to pronounce refoulement (audio) \

Definition of refoulement

: the act of forcing a refugee or asylum seeker to return to a country or territory where he or she is likely to face persecution Since 1980, United States law has defined refugees as people with a "well-founded fear of persecutions" in their home country and thus entitled to sanctuary or political asylum. To send them home would risk committing the diplomatic sin of refoulement—forcibly subjecting them to peril.The New York Times — see also non-refoulement

Examples of refoulement in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The forcible return of the migrants, a practice known as refoulement, has also put many of them in lethal danger on land, because of Libya’s civil war. New York Times, "Privatized Pushbacks: How Merchant Ships Guard Europe," 20 Mar. 2020 Escontrias, her lawyer, said Ricci was referred to a third non-refoulement interview during her hearing, which CBS News was barred from observing. Camilo Montoya-galvez, CBS News, ""I fear for our lives": Asylum seekers forced to wait in Mexico face danger and desperation," 13 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'refoulement.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of refoulement

1954, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for refoulement

borrowed from French, literally, "turning away, rejection," going back to Middle French, from refouler "to force back, push in" (from re- re- + fouler "to crush, full (fabric)," going back to Old French) + -ment -ment — more at full entry 5

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The first known use of refoulement was in 1954

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Cite this Entry

“Refoulement.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 7 Mar. 2021.

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