se·​ces·​sion | \ si-ˈse-shən How to pronounce secession (audio) \

Definition of secession

1 : withdrawal into privacy or solitude : retirement
2 : formal withdrawal from an organization

Examples of secession in a Sentence

the secession of the Southern states

Recent Examples on the Web

About 128 communities have attempted school secession since 2000, according to an analysis by EdBuild. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "The new face of racial segregation: School "secession"," 5 Sep. 2019 As secession fever mounted across the South in the wake of Abraham Lincoln’s election in November 1860, Virginia remained cautious. Drew Gilpin Faust, The Atlantic, "Race, History, and Memories of a Virginia Girlhood," 18 July 2019 Now that the Emiratis are pulling out, a group known as the Southern Transitional Council seems to be pushing for formal secession. Bobby Ghosh, The Denver Post, "Guest Commentary: The last thing Yemen needed was a second civil war," 24 Aug. 2019 And last year, Hong Kong expelled a Financial Times editor who had hosted a talk by an activist who called for the city’s secession from China. Austin Ramzy, New York Times, "On Hong Kong Handover Anniversary, Many Fear Loss of Freedoms," 1 July 2019 What has prevented secession is that the nearly 60,000 residents, who sparsely populate the largest island in the world, depend heavily on Denmark for subsidies and defense. Mark Fischetti, Scientific American, "Nations Claim Large Overlapping Sections of Arctic Seafloor," 23 July 2019 By secession in 1860, Alabama was home to 435,080 slaves, according to the U.S. Census. William Thornton |,, "Cotton, once king in Alabama, still rules on these family farms," 14 July 2019 The declaration of secession that year by an Igbo majority in the southeastern region of Nigeria, and the war that followed when the federal government decided to keep the country as one, was already the culmination of a bloody sequence of events. Emmanuel Iduma, The New York Review of Books, "‘Gone Like a Meteor’: Epitaph for the Lost Youth of the Biafran War," 30 May 2019 Yet inasmuch as ruling California athletes ineligible for national competition for following state law is more likely to spark secession from the NCAA than concessions to it, this would be a bluff worth calling. Tim Sullivan, The Courier-Journal, "NCAA's fight to separate athletes from money they could earn is a losing battle," 30 June 2019

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

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for secession

Latin secession-, secessio, from secedere

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Statistics for secession

Last Updated

20 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for secession

The first known use of secession was in 1604

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English Language Learners Definition of secession

: the act of separating from a nation or state and becoming independent

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Nglish: Translation of secession for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of secession for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about secession

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


concealment of treason or felony

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