tribalism

noun
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 For Americans, their flag can mean many things: national pride, unity, celebration – or, like so much else beset by today’s bitter political divisions, tribalism, hostility, and anger. Ned Temko, The Christian Science Monitor, "As US democracy stumbles, the world watches and wonders," 8 Jan. 2021 Abiy saw firsthand the carnage that can result when ethnic tribalism escalates into violence. Jacob Kushner, Los Angeles Times, "In Ethiopia, a Nobel Peace laureate goes to war," 6 Dec. 2020 As the pandemic became a flash point for political tribalism, Suri says many people did just that. Annie Vainshtein, SFChronicle.com, "The Bay Area is more skeptical of COVID-19 lockdowns this time. Why?," 15 Dec. 2020 In an era when so many institutions of American life have bowed to partisan tribalism, the dozens of opinions serve as a resounding reaffirmation of the judiciary’s nonpartisan commitment to basic principles of reason, fact and law. Anchorage Daily News, "How dozens of judges across the political spectrum rejected Trump’s efforts to overturn the election," 13 Dec. 2020 So many of us are riven by tribalism that the only thing that matters now for tens of millions is dominating the other side. John Kass, Star Tribune, "Elites to Trump's base: Heal, already," 15 Nov. 2020 Obama only foreshadows Trump’s unlikely ascent by registering his concerns about rising nativism and the tribalism his election seemed to unleash, an implacable opposition party and conservative media increasingly untethered to truth. Dallas News, "Barack Obama’s memoir is a masterful lament over the fragility of hope," 18 Nov. 2020 Just maybe there were reasons, other than tribalism, for change? Star Tribune, "Readers Write: 'Who will be left to protect the city?' Plus: 'Child soldiers,' Seventh Congressional District, citizenship test, the Biden transition," 21 Nov. 2020 Obama only foreshadows Trump’s unlikely ascent by registering his concerns about rising nativism and the tribalism his election seemed to unleash, an implacable opposition party and conservative media increasingly untethered to truth. Dallas News, "Barack Obama’s memoir is a masterful lament over the fragility of hope," 18 Nov. 2020

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.

See More

First Known Use of tribalism

1861, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about tribalism

Time Traveler for tribalism

Time Traveler

The first known use of tribalism was in 1861

See more words from the same year

Statistics for tribalism

Last Updated

14 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tribalism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tribalism. Accessed 17 Jan. 2021.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for tribalism

tribalism

noun
How to pronounce tribalism (audio)

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

More from Merriam-Webster on tribalism

Nglish: Translation of tribalism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tribalism for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tribalism

What made you want to look up tribalism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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