se·​cede | \ si-ˈsēd How to pronounce secede (audio) \
seceded; seceding

Definition of secede

intransitive verb

: to withdraw from an organization (such as a religious communion or political party or federation)

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Other Words from secede

seceder noun

Examples of secede in a Sentence

South Carolina seceded from the Union in 1860.

Recent Examples on the Web

In 1861, Jefferson Davis of Mississippi and four other Southerners whose states had seceded from the Union resigned from the U.S. Senate., "Today in History: January 21, 2018," 21 Jan. 2018 As the story goes, Dade County voted overwhelmingly that day to secede from the state of Georgia and the United States. Ken Jennings, Condé Nast Traveler, "This Part of the U.S. Was a Micronation for 85 Years," 2 July 2018 Polls show that Catalonia’s 7.5 million residents are evenly divided on whether the region should secede from Spain. Washington Post, "Catalonia’s lawmakers pick fervent separatist as new chief," 15 May 2018 But Sudan has struggled to recover from the loss of 75% of its oil output since South Sudan seceded in 2011 after decades of fighting. Nicholas Bariyo, WSJ, "Sudan’s Deadly Protests Pressure President’s Three-Decade Rule," 28 Dec. 2018 The only successful instance of a state breaking away from another state is West Virginia, which successfully seceded from Virginia to join the Union after Virginia joined the Confederate States of America in 1861. Caroline Simon, USA TODAY, "California is trying to break apart. It isn't the first state to try.," 13 June 2018 Left unmentioned is the fact that Lincoln’s First Inaugural, however artful legally, had left seceding states unpersuaded and unreconciled. Harold Holzer, WSJ, "‘Uncivil Warriors’ Review: Lawyers at Civil War," 29 July 2018 In a poll conducted by the Staten Island Advance, 96 percent of respondents vote for the borough to secede from New York City. Jennifer Conrad, New York Times, "What Happened in New York Between 1981 and 1983," 17 Apr. 2018 For years, Griffith has maintained Calumet Township’s poor relief taxes exceed the state average Indiana law permits municipalities to secede if the poor-relief tax rate is 12 times higher than the state average. Carole Carlson, Post-Tribune, "Calumet trustee faces primary challenge from Gary councilwoman," 24 Apr. 2018

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

1749, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for secede

Latin secedere, from sed-, se- apart (from sed, se without) + cedere to go — more at suicide

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Dictionary Entries near secede

Secchi disc







Statistics for secede

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for secede

The first known use of secede was in 1749

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More Definitions for secede



English Language Learners Definition of secede

: to separate from a nation or state and become independent


se·​cede | \ si-ˈsēd How to pronounce secede (audio) \
seceded; seceding

Kids Definition of secede

: to end an association with an organization (as a country)

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More from Merriam-Webster on secede

Spanish Central: Translation of secede

Nglish: Translation of secede for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of secede for Arabic Speakers

Comments on secede

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


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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