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 Attorney General Merrick Garland said Malofeev was a key source of financing for Russians promoting separatism in Crimea and provided backing for separatists in Ukraine’s Donetsk region., 6 Apr. 2022 Most notably in recent years, large numbers of Uyghurs and members of other predominantly Muslim minority groups have disappeared as part of what the government calls a campaign against extremism, separatism, and terrorism. Sarah Dilorenzo, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 Feb. 2022 Languages are not only repositories of heritages but also a rallying point for self-determination movements, which perhaps explains why the preservation of local languages is sometimes criminalized as an act of separatism. The New Yorker, 7 Feb. 2022 Uighur writer, blogger and scholar Ilham Tohti is serving a life sentence on charges of separatism. Katherine Love, Forbes, 3 Jan. 2022 There are occasional blowups about whether school cafeterias should serve vegetarian meals and halal and kosher meat, or whether this, too, would be a concession to separatism. Rachel Donadio, The Atlantic, 22 Nov. 2021 The first person arrested under the new national security law had been convicted of inciting separatism and sentenced to nine years in jail for displaying that slogan. Alice Su, Los Angeles Times, 16 Sep. 2021 Macron’s hard-line interior minister, Gérald Darmanin, perhaps the second-most-powerful man in France, said in a television interview last year that halal-food aisles in supermarkets represent a form of religious separatism. Rachel Donadio, The Atlantic, 22 Nov. 2021 But Adekoya acknowledges that Buhari faces an uphill battle on the issue of separatism. Stephanie Busari And Sebastian Shukla, CNN, 25 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of separatism

1628, in the meaning defined above

Learn More About separatism

Time Traveler for separatism

Time Traveler

The first known use of separatism was in 1628

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near separatism

separation point



See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for separatism

Last Updated

8 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Separatism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on separatism

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for separatism

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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