trib·​al·​ism ˈtrī-bə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce tribalism (audio)
: tribal consciousness and loyalty
especially : exaltation of the tribe above other groups
: strong in-group loyalty

Example Sentences

Tribalism within the group is strong. the corrupting influence of tribalism
Recent Examples on the Web In her 1951 book The Origins of Totalitarianism, Arendt suggests that this type of uprootedness leads to tribalism, and worse, totalitarianism. Time, 3 Nov. 2022 The Warriors is based on Sol Yurick’s 1965 novel of the same name, but Hill took the material even further, applying a comic book sensibility to Yurick’s tale of New York tribalism, itself inspired by Xenophon’s Anabasis, a Grecian war epic penned around 370 B.C. Seth Abramovitch, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Oct. 2022 In those often-rocky years of negotiations and transition in a society where tribalism is more than just a political theory, Tutu often praised the many South African Jews who worked alongside Black South Africans to make the transition from white-minority rule possible. Clarence Page,, 28 Dec. 2021 But the adulation doesn’t originate from political tribalism, as critics may claim. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 9 Apr. 2023 Again and again we have been pushed toward radicalization, tribalism, and conspiracy. Vanessa Barbara, The New York Review of Books, 2 Feb. 2023 The $20 bill will not dissolve tribalism. Smithsonian Magazine, 11 June 2021 Lawson, an honors graduate in history from the Naval Academy, said that Trump, taking advantage of enormous, rapid technological changes, had used media outlets like Fox News, OANN, Newsmax, and Facebook to drive tribalism, paranoia, and conspiracy nonsense. Paige Williams, The New Yorker, 18 Dec. 2020 The group and tribalism and information flow are also part of it. Gary Stix, Scientific American, 18 Mar. 2023 See More

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

1861, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of tribalism was in 1861

Dictionary Entries Near tribalism

Cite this Entry

“Tribalism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jun. 2023.

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