se·​ces·​sion si-ˈse-shən How to pronounce secession (audio)
: withdrawal into privacy or solitude : retirement
: formal withdrawal from an organization

Examples of secession in a Sentence

the secession of the Southern states
Recent Examples on the Web Similar secession efforts infamously led to the Civil War. Nicholas Kerr, ABC News, 31 Jan. 2024 With the city quietened, Beijing passed the national security law, introducing four vague new crimes — secession, subversion, colluding with foreign forces and terrorism. Shibani Mahtani, Washington Post, 17 Dec. 2023 First elected to the Senate, from Mississippi, in 1848, Davis believed in slavery, states’ rights, and secession, three ideas in one. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, 4 Dec. 2023 According to Nicoletti, the worry that an acquittal would have established the constitutionality of secession meant that interest in prosecuting Davis simply evaporated. Jill Lepore, The New Yorker, 4 Dec. 2023 Opponents of secession won a referendum in 2014, but Scots turned against Labour in favor of the pro-independence Scottish National Party. Alan Cowell, New York Times, 30 Nov. 2023 Not every flag with similarities to the Confederate battle flag has a definitive historical connection to secession or slavery. Gillian Brockell, Washington Post, 10 Sep. 2023 Throughout the 1770s and 1780s, in fact, one wrong move in the Continental Congress might well have led to the secession of a regional bloc of states, whether New England, the Middle states, or the Southern states, with possibly cataclysmic consequences for all thirteen: continental civil war. Time, 3 July 2023 Around this time, Lumumba gave the go-ahead to Mobutu’s plan to put down a second secession, in South Kasai, another mineral-heavy province. Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 30 Oct. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Latin secession-, secessio, from secedere

First Known Use

1604, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of secession was in 1604

Dictionary Entries Near secession

Cite this Entry

“Secession.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


se·​ces·​sion si-ˈsesh-ən How to pronounce secession (audio)
: the act of seceding

More from Merriam-Webster on secession

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