sep·​a·​rat·​ist ˈse-p(ə-)rə-tist How to pronounce separatist (audio)
: one that favors separatism: such as
capitalized : one of a group of 16th and 17th century English Protestants preferring to separate from rather than to reform the Church of England
: an advocate of independence or autonomy for a part of a political unit (such as a nation)
: an advocate of racial or cultural separation
separatist adjective
separatistic adjective

Examples of separatist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Related article Why is India so worried about Sikh separatist calls for Khalistan? Tara John, CNN, 13 Feb. 2024 As a result, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s accusations in September that the Indian government was involved in the killing of a Canadian Sikh separatist near Vancouver sent tremors through Ontario’s educational institutions. Norimitsu Onishi Nasuna Stuart-Ulin, New York Times, 23 Dec. 2023 Ukraine had filed the lawsuit at the ICJ, also known as the World Court, in 2017, accusing Russia of violating an anti-terrorism treaty by funding pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine. Reuters, CNN, 31 Jan. 2024 Russia invaded the country in 2022 and illegally annexed some regions, including Donetsk, where pro-Moscow separatists have operated under Russian cover for years. Mary Ilyushina, Washington Post, 21 Jan. 2024 Lai Ching-te, a former doctor and the current vice president, who Beijing sees as a staunch separatist, will be Taiwan’s next leader. Damien Cave, New York Times, 13 Jan. 2024 But the election of another Democratic Progressive Party president will likely spur a strong reaction from Beijing, which considers Taiwan a part of its territory and has denounced Lai as a separatist who will drive the island of 23 million people to war with mainland China. Stephanie Yang, Los Angeles Times, 13 Jan. 2024 The ruling Democratic Progressive Party (DPP), which promotes Taiwan's separate identity, is running Vice President Lai Ching-te — whom Beijing has called a dangerous separatist — as its presidential candidate, hoping to win a third straight term for the party. Harold Maass, The Week Us, theweek, 12 Jan. 2024 The video however actually shows the detention of separatists in Azerbaijan. Sean Lyngaas, CNN, 9 Oct. 2023 See More

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

1608, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of separatist was in 1608

Dictionary Entries Near separatist

Cite this Entry

“Separatist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


sep·​a·​rat·​ist ˈsep(-ə)-rət-əst How to pronounce separatist (audio)
: a person who favors separation (as from a church or party)
separatist adjective
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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