sep·​a·​rat·​ism ˈse-p(ə-)rə-ˌti-zəm How to pronounce separatism (audio)
: 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 Efforts to forge national unity between French- and English-speaking Canadians collapsed, prompting a resurgence of Quebec separatism. Alan Cowell, New York Times, 29 Feb. 2024 Perhaps the proximity of Lesbos, where Sappho wrote of the sexiness of female separatism, made matriarchal societies seem perfectly plausible. Virginia Heffernan, WIRED, 14 Feb. 2024 Not long after the farm bills died, RSS affiliates began claiming their rollback was necessary to stop separatism from growing among Sikhs. Blaming Khalistanis for the agricultural defeat has not been easy, and for a very simple reason: within India, there is no Sikh separatism of which to speak. Hartosh Singh Bal, Foreign Affairs, 8 Dec. 2023 Sikh separatism may have been a threat to the Indian state in the 1980s and 1990s, when separatists waged a bloody insurgency in hopes of turning Punjab into an independent state called Khalistan. Hartosh Singh Bal, Foreign Affairs, 8 Dec. 2023 India worried about resurgent Sikh separatism Trudeau said Monday that Canadian authorities were coordinating with their allies in investigating Nijjar’s death. Amanda Coletta, Washington Post, 18 Sep. 2023 This may have been a low point, but not even the more edifying moments of the discussion shed much light on the essential conflict between Brustein’s commitment to integration and Wilson’s appeal for separatism. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 8 Nov. 2023 Thousands of ethnic minority Muslims defy Chinese authorities in defense of mosque In 2014, Xinjiang’s government pledged to eradicate extremism in the region amid government concerns about terrorism and separatism. Simone McCarthy, CNN, 2 Oct. 2023 If the allegation that India was involved in the assassination in Canada is true, how much of a break would that seem to you from previous Indian policy regarding issues of Sikh separatism? Isaac Chotiner, The New Yorker, 21 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'separatism.' 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

1628, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of separatism was in 1628

Dictionary Entries Near separatism

Cite this Entry

“Separatism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

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