sep·​a·​rat·​ist | \ ˈse-p(ə-)rə-tist How to pronounce separatist (audio) , ˈse-pə-ˌrā- \

Definition of separatist

: one that favors separatism: such as
a capitalized : one of a group of 16th and 17th century English Protestants preferring to separate from rather than to reform the Church of England
b : an advocate of independence or autonomy for a part of a political unit (such as a nation)
c : an advocate of racial or cultural separation

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Other Words from separatist

separatist adjective
separatistic \ ˌse-​p(ə-​)rə-​ˈti-​stik How to pronounce separatist (audio) \ adjective

Examples of separatist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The wife and son of white separatist Randy Weaver were lauded by some as martyrs when they were killed in a siege at Ruby Ridge in Idaho in 1992. Los Angeles Times, "Right-wing extremists stage ‘meme war’ to compete for Trump supporters," 27 Jan. 2021 The Catalan separatist movement has always proclaimed non-violent beliefs, even though last year there were violent clashes with police after several top leaders were sentenced to prison for their roles in the 2017 breakaway bid. Joseph Wilson, Star Tribune, "Spain: judge probes Catalan separatism links with Russia," 28 Oct. 2020 Although Wilson was attacked as a separatist, his point was that Black theater has just as much power to lay claim to universality as the works of any other tradition. Daniel Pollack-pelzner, The Atlantic, "The Unconscious Rebellion of August Wilson," 22 Dec. 2020 Of course, that mattered little to China, which views the octogenarian spiritual leader as a separatist. Timothy Mclaughlin, The Atlantic, "Being a Democrat on China's Doorstep," 16 Dec. 2020 Tamil hopes for an independent homeland were dashed in 2009, when the government defeated the Tamil Tigers, a ruthless separatist insurgency. The Economist, "Sri Lanka’s Tamil minority has become more politically fractured," 28 Nov. 2020 China responded with anger after the U.S. State Department removed from its list of terrorist organizations a largely defunct Uighur separatist group that Beijing partly blames for ethnic tensions in its remote northwest. Sha Hua, WSJ, "China Irate After U.S. Removes ‘Terrorist’ Label From Separatist Group," 6 Nov. 2020 Some members of the right-wing Flemish separatist party Nieuw-Vlaamse Alliantie — the New Flemish Alliance — even called for trains to stop traveling to the coast from other parts of the country. NBC News, "Belgium has Europe's worst Covid-19 infection rate. What did it get so wrong?," 2 Nov. 2020 Kashmir's main separatist grouping called the strike to protest new land laws that India enacted on Monday, allowing any of its nationals to buy or its military to directly acquire land in the region. Washington Post, "World Digest: Oct. 31, 2020," 31 Oct. 2020

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

1608, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for separatist

Time Traveler

The first known use of separatist was in 1608

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Statistics for separatist

Last Updated

2 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Separatist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2021.

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More Definitions for separatist



English Language Learners Definition of separatist

: a member of a group of people who want to form a new country, religion, etc., that is separate from the one they are in now

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