union·​ism ˈyün-yə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce unionism (audio)
: the principle or policy of forming or adhering to a union: such as
capitalized : adherence to the policy of a firm federal union between the states of the United States especially during the Civil War period
: the principles, theory, advocacy, or system of trade unions

Examples of unionism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In this period, Jacobs, who grew up in South Africa and came of age in the 1980s, told me, unionism evolved beyond the narrow concerns of the shop floor, into a labor movement that could make connections between apartheid and the conditions of workers. Liza Featherstone, The New Republic, 29 Oct. 2021 So the prospect for a serious crackdown on private tyranny and a new surge of unionism will depend, as in earlier eras, on the emergence of mass movements that organize for those ends and consistent electoral triumphs by a party that favors them. Michael Kazin, The New Republic, 8 Sep. 2023 In their transition from Roosevelt’s New Deal coalition to Bill Clinton’s New Democrats, the party gave up its historical support for unionism and redistribution and became enamored with the idea that a rising tide of education would lift all boats. Jennifer C. Berkshire, The New Republic, 16 May 2023 Advertisement After playing a few songs in Belfast, Bono called onto the stage the leaders of unionism and nationalism: David Trimble, a leading Protestant politician in Northern Ireland, and John Hume, an advocate of nonviolence who led Northern Ireland’s largest Catholic political party. Amanda Ferguson, Washington Post, 13 Apr. 2023 The enemy is the violence itself, generated by the feedback loop of Nationalism and unionism. Joseph Patrick Kelly, The Conversation, 5 Apr. 2023 The days of pure and simple bread-and-butter unionism in UTLA are over. Howard Blumestaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 27 Feb. 2023 Isn’t trade unionism incompatible with employee ownership? Mary Josephs, Forbes, 20 Dec. 2022 Repealing right-to-work in Michigan—a cradle of American unionism—could be just the jolt the labor movement needs. Steven Greenhouse, The New Republic, 29 Dec. 2022 See More

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

1831, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of unionism was in 1831

Dictionary Entries Near unionism

Cite this Entry

“Unionism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/unionism. Accessed 3 Oct. 2023.

Kids Definition


union·​ism ˈyün-yə-ˌniz-əm How to pronounce unionism (audio)
: the principle or policy of forming or keeping a union
capitalized : support of a strong federal union before or during the American Civil War
: a theory or policy that supports labor unions
noun often capitalized

More from Merriam-Webster on unionism

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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