sec·​tion·​al·​ism ˈsek-shnə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce sectionalism (audio)
: 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 Economic differences, with the North’s industrialized model versus the South’s agrarian focus, deepened the sectionalism. Letter Writers, Twin Cities, 1 Jan. 2024 In the antebellum United States, Northerners, and especially northern abolitionists, drew a contrast between (northern) nationalism and (southern) sectionalism. Jill Lepore, Foreign Affairs, 5 Feb. 2019 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 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 examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'sectionalism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 24 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


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

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