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 Punjab itself was the scene of violent Sikh separatism in the 1980s and early 1990s. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "All about the Kartarpur Corridor, the new Sikh connection between India and Pakistan," 8 Nov. 2019 Others have feared that swelling support for Catalan separatism because of the convictions could make the next political term even more key to either breaking the deadlock with separatists or making it a chronicle problem. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Spain targets online group behind Catalan separatist protest," 15 Oct. 2019 His government’s next target appears to be the 10-million-member Muslim Hui minority, who live not in Xianjiang but in Gansu province, and who have no particular record of separatism or extremism. The Washington Post, Twin Cities, "Other voices: China’s repression is growing," 3 Oct. 2019 Xi has expanded the size of the military and cracked down heavily on any signs of separatism or even non-Chinese identity in places such as Xinjiang or Tibet. James Griffiths, CNN, "Why Hong Kong's young protesters feel they're running out of time in fight for democracy," 25 July 2019 Esquerra takes a more gradual approach to separatism than the other main pro-independence party, Junts per Catalunya, which wants an immediate split from Spain. Washington Post, "How Catalonia Remains a Thorn in Spanish Politics," 8 Nov. 2019 Turkey and the Kurds have a long and checkered history, and Erdogan is as opposed to Kurdish separatism and statehood as the Kurds are in favor of it. Jim Talent, National Review, "Trump Used the Options He Had in Syria," 17 Oct. 2019 Because of Xinjiang’s history of separatism and terrorism, Uighurs are suffering by far the harshest clampdown experienced by any of these Muslim groups. The Economist, "China’s repression of Islam is spreading beyond Xinjiang," 26 Sep. 2019 To consolidate Spain’s slowly fading economic recovery, tackle the social scars of its previous slump and contain Catalan separatism will be hard. The Economist, "Spain stumbles towards a government," 18 July 2019

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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Time Traveler for separatism

Time Traveler

The first known use of separatism was in 1628

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Statistics for separatism

Last Updated

30 Nov 2019

Cite this Entry

“Separatism.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 8 December 2019.

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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).


to constrict the range or activity of

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