sec·​tion·​al·​ism ˈsek-shnə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce sectionalism (audio)
: an exaggerated devotion to the interests of a region

Example Sentences

a nation divided by sectionalism
Recent Examples on the Web While the Anti-Federalists rendered some devastating critiques of the Constitution, anti-federalism that leads to sectionalism or regionalism is no more appropriate for this moment than federalism. Siva Vaidhyanathan, The New Republic, 7 Dec. 2022 Before 2018, Texas schools even taught that states’ rights and sectionalism—not slavery—were the leading causes of the Civil War. Maia Niguel Hoskin, Forbes, 30 Sep. 2021 Prior to 2018, Texas schools even taught that states’ rights and sectionalism—not slavery—were the main causes of the Civil War. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 June 2020 Teaching Tolerance said this teaching obscures the institution of slavery’s influence on factors like sectionalism, states' rights and economic disagreements. al, 1 Mar. 2020 Alabama’s standards require students to identify sectionalism, slavery, states’ rights and economic disagreements as the reasons why Alabama succeeded from the union. al, 1 Mar. 2020 The state curriculum for seventh-grade history expects students to explain reasons for Texas' involvement in the Civil War, including states' rights, slavery, sectionalism and tariffs. Fernando Ramirez, Houston Chronicle, 12 Feb. 2018 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1847, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of sectionalism was in 1847

Dictionary Entries Near sectionalism

Cite this Entry

“Sectionalism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 3 Feb. 2023.

Kids Definition


sec·​tion·​al·​ism ˈsek-shnə-ˌliz-əm How to pronounce sectionalism (audio)
: too much devotion to the interests of a region

More from Merriam-Webster on sectionalism

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