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 Several prominent political activists have fled the semi-autonomous city of Hong Kong over a national security law that criminalizes sedition, secession and subversion. Aj Willingham, CNN, "5 things to know for October 9: Kidnapping plot, Covid-19, Trump, stimulus, Hong Kong," 9 Oct. 2020 In recent weeks, China implemented a new law for the territory that criminalizes subversion, secession, terrorism, and collusion with foreign forces. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "'Authorities put my life at risk': Interview with face of Hong Kong protests," 31 July 2020 The new security legislation imposed by Beijing in June forbids subversion, secession, terrorism and collusion with foreign powers, and gives Hong Kong authorities the ability to transfer cases to mainland courts. Shawna Kwan,, "China Moves to Prosecute 12 for Crossing Border Near Hong Kong," 30 Sep. 2020 While prior to the Civil War, Republicans and their Whig predecessors were the minority parties in a government heavily controlled by Southern Democrats, the South’s secession handed the national government to the young party. Matthew Brown, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Historical claims about constitutional amendments lack context," 25 Sep. 2020 The law, which bypassed Hong Kong's semi-democratic legislature, bans subversion, secession and collusion with foreign forces, with severe prison terms for anyone found in contravention. CNN, "At least 90 arrested in Hong Kong protests after government postpones local elections," 6 Sep. 2020 If the idea of the U.S. dissolving seems far-fetched, one reason is that we have been trained to think of secession and civil war as something long settled. Eric Herschthal, The New Republic, "Could the United States Break Up?," 1 Sep. 2020 That law criminalizes acts of subversion, secession, collusion with foreign forces, and terrorism. Haley Victory Smith, Washington Examiner, "Hong Kong dissidents blocked from fleeing city by boat: Report," 27 Aug. 2020 Organizations ranging from business chambers to human rights groups have criticized Beijing’s move to bypass Hong Kong’s legislature and impose laws banning subversion, secession and foreign interference. Fortune, "Hong Kong security laws may not be retroactive, Chinese official says," 15 June 2020

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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Time Traveler for secession

Time Traveler

The first known use of secession was in 1604

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Statistics for secession

Last Updated

15 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Secession.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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How to pronounce secession (audio)

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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