sep·​a·​rat·​ism | \ ˈse-p(ə-)rə-ˌti-zəm How to pronounce separatism (audio) \

Definition of separatism

: a belief in, movement for, or state of separation (such as schism, secession, or segregation)

Examples of separatism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Some had hired thugs to defend their rule and flirted with separatism when a new government came to power. James Marson, WSJ, "Justice Remains Elusive in Ukraine, Widening Door to Russian Influence," 28 Dec. 2018 More recently, mysterious billboards have appeared in the region accusing its politicians of separatism. Pablo Gorondi, The Seattle Times, "Ukraine’s Hungarian minority threatened by new education law," 14 Nov. 2018 There are worrying links, as the Chinese authorities are keen to point out, between Uighur separatism and global jihad, especially in the Uighur diaspora, which is based in Turkey. The Economist, "China has turned Xinjiang into a police state like no other," 31 May 2018 Xinjiang, the tense region where most Uighurs live, has been enveloped in recent years in a vast dragnet of police surveillance which authorities insist is needed to root out separatism and Islamic extremism. Dake Kang, The Seattle Times, "Critic of China’s internments says Turkey may bar his family," 18 Sep. 2018 Since 2014 the Texas Board of Education has minimized the role of slavery in the Civil War in district textbooks by ranking it as the third cause of the fighting, behind separatism and states’ rights. Shaun Assael, Glamour, "The Secret Fight to Save Confederate Monuments," 16 Aug. 2018 Not only is there separatism in Catalonia but two parties, Podemos and Ciudadanos, have emerged to challenge the old duopoly. Tim Lister, CNN, "Europe is on the verge of a big new crisis, just six years after the last one," 2 June 2018 As the civil rights movement lost steam and gave way to the separatism of Black Power, the group spoke from a standpoint of disillusionment, although with vigorous attitude. Giovanni Russonello, New York Times, "Jalal Mansur Nuriddin, ‘Grandfather of Rap,’ Is Dead at 73," 13 June 2018 The movement brings back painful memories for many residents, because separatism has a long and bloody history in Basque Country. Meg Bernhard,, "With independence a far-fetched dream, Basque Country activists downsize their ambitions," 15 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'separatism.' 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 separatism

1628, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of separatism was in 1628

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More from Merriam-Webster on separatism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with separatism

Britannica English: Translation of separatism for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about separatism

Comments on separatism

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


a strong desire or propensity

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