sec·​tion·​al·​ism | \ ˈsek-shnə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce sectionalism (audio) , -shə-nə-ˌli- \

Definition of sectionalism

: an exaggerated devotion to the interests of a region

Examples of sectionalism in a Sentence

a nation divided by sectionalism
Recent Examples on the Web 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

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.

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First Known Use of sectionalism

1847, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for sectionalism

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The first known use of sectionalism was in 1847

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Dictionary Entries Near sectionalism

sectional density



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Cite this Entry

“Sectionalism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of sectionalism

: a tendency to be more concerned with the interests of your particular group or region than with the problems and interests of the larger group, country, etc.

More from Merriam-Webster on sectionalism Encyclopedia article about sectionalism


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