unilateralism

noun
uni·​lat·​er·​al·​ism | \ ˌyü-ni-ˈla-t(ə-)rə-ˌli-zəm \

Definition of unilateralism

: a policy of taking unilateral action (as in international affairs) regardless of outside support or reciprocity also : advocacy of such a policy

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Other Words from unilateralism

unilateralist \ ˌyü-​ni-​ˈla-​t(ə-​)rə-​list \ noun or adjective

Examples of unilateralism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to be a key voice joining secretary-general Guterres in speaking out against unilateralism and populism, and supporting multilateralism as key to promoting peace. Fox News, "UN to caution against populism in high-level week," 25 Sep. 2018 French President Emmanuel Macron is expected to be a key voice joining secretary-general Guterres in speaking out against unilateralism and populism, and supporting multilateralism as key to promoting peace. Jennifer Peltz, The Seattle Times, "UN to caution against populism in high-level week," 24 Sep. 2018 Over the past few days, Trump — a leader who favors unilateralism over multilateralism — has engaged in a war of words over trade and other issues with Canada's Justin Trudeau and France's Emmanuel Macron. Adam Taylor, Washington Post, "The G-7 has always been an informal club. With Russia remarks, Trump is pushing that.," 8 June 2018 China’s Minister of Commerce Gao Feng recently called on the United States to abandon unilateralism and engage in the WTO’s multilateral process, as well as end the block on Appellate Body appointments. Rachel Brewster, Washington Post, "Trump is breaking the WTO. Will China want to save it?," 2 May 2018 Instead of making Iran look like a diplomacy-loving victim of American unilateralism, Tehran would have to defend its odious Syria policy. Mark Dubowitz And Richard Goldberg, WSJ, "Use Iran Sanctions to Stop Assad," 18 Apr. 2018 Meanwhile, recent comments by former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson vindicating the 19th century Monroe Doctrine, coupled with Trump’s threat of a military solution to Venezuela’s crisis, have spread fears of a return to U.S. unilateralism. Washington Post, "Latin America takes Trump’s forgoing of summit in stride," 10 Apr. 2018 For all its country-specific fervor, the Olympics is a proudly multilateral event taking place this year in a world that, from Brexit to Trump policies, is awash in a burst of unilateralism. USA TODAY, "Against tense global backdrop, let the Games begin," 7 Feb. 2018 This looks like a short-term win for Mr. Trump’s trade unilateralism. Greg Ip, WSJ, "Weakened Nafta, WTO Would Pave Way for Conflict," 18 Oct. 2017

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

1926, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

26 Dec 2018

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The first known use of unilateralism was in 1926

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