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

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, "Texas school to discontinue assignment asking students to draw themselves as a slave," 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.

First Known Use of sectionalism

1847, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about sectionalism

Statistics for sectionalism

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for sectionalism

The first known use of sectionalism was in 1847

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for sectionalism



English Language Learners Definition of sectionalism

chiefly US : 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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with sectionalism Encyclopedia article about sectionalism

Comments on sectionalism

What made you want to look up sectionalism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not constant or steady

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!