trib·​al·​ism | \ ˈtrī-bə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce tribalism (audio) \

Definition of tribalism

1 : tribal consciousness and loyalty especially : exaltation of the tribe above other groups
2 : strong in-group loyalty

Examples of tribalism in a Sentence

Tribalism within the group is strong. the corrupting influence of tribalism

Recent Examples on the Web

Conflict is not inevitable, and Chua is optimistic that America can find a way out of the downward spiral into tribalism. Park Macdougald, Daily Intelligencer, "Can America’s Two Tribes Learn to Live Together?," 19 Apr. 2018 America is a far more diverse country than some seem to realize — even within Trumpism — and much of that is because of tribalism and limited contact with people who are different. Eugene Scott, Washington Post, "How ‘Roseanne’ reinforces a myth about Trump supporters," 30 Mar. 2018 Reverting to tribalism is the taproot of our social and political polarization. WSJ, "It’s Hard to See Democracy Coexisting With Tribalism," 7 Nov. 2018 In Portland, Maine, chef Brad Messier agreed with the sentiments, but said the country's tribalism is too great to ignore. Philip Marcelo, Fox News, "Social issues roiling US weigh heavy on Independence Day," 3 July 2018 Even the power of faith which frequently inspires great generosity and self-sacrifice can fall victim to tribalism. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth's Christmas Message Reflects on the Royal Family's 'Busy Year'," 25 Dec. 2018 Former President Barack Obama discussing political tribalism during a speech at the University of Illinois on Friday. Fox News Staff, Fox News, "The GOP battle for the speakership intensifies," 7 Sep. 2018 These independents supposedly hold the key to breaking through our bitter partisanship, our rampant tribalism. Michael Wear, Time, "Don't Quit the Republican Party. Stay and Fight," 22 June 2018 Fighter jets and 21st-century burgers As Wilson's anecdote illustrates, where there are fans, there's often tribalism. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Open mind, wide open throttle: We go to our first NASCAR race," 15 Nov. 2018

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

1861, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for tribalism

Last Updated

7 Jun 2019

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Time Traveler for tribalism

The first known use of tribalism was in 1861

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English Language Learners Definition of tribalism

often disapproving : loyalty to a tribe or other social group especially when combined with strong negative feelings for people outside the group

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More from Merriam-Webster on tribalism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tribalism

Nglish: Translation of tribalism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tribalism for Arabic Speakers

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