union·​ist | \ ˈyün-yə-nist \

Definition of unionist

: an advocate or supporter of union or unionism

Examples of unionist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

And a devolved government was established at Stormont, one in which nationalists and unionists would share power. The Economist, "Twenty years after a peace deal the mood is sour in Northern Ireland," 28 Mar. 2018 The rift soon widened to broader cultural and political issues separating Northern Ireland's British unionists and Irish nationalists, and attempts to restore the government have stalled. Fox News, "Protests planned as N Ireland matches no-government record," 28 Aug. 2018 In May, thousands of high-school students joined unionists and civil servants to protest Macron’s plan to cut 120,000 civil service jobs in addition to a reduction in benefits for France’s railway workers, who are unionized, public-sector employees. Jennifer Williams, Vox, "Embattled French President Macron announces concessions to quell weeks of violent protests," 11 Dec. 2018 These cultural hot points include issues such as marches by the unionist Orange Order, flags and emblems. Allison Mcculloch, Washington Post, "Northern Ireland is in crisis because of a dispute over language," 2 Mar. 2018 Nor does liberalisation in rail lead to corner-cutting on safety, as many trade unionists have argued. The Economist, "Why Europe’s train network needs more, not less, competition," 28 June 2018 Leadon’s tale is a whirl of characters: architects and landlords, capitalists and unionists, reformers and traditionalists, visionaries and charlatans. Clyde Haberman, New York Times, "America’s Most Famous Street," 30 Apr. 2018 Those included allegedly using his office to enrich himself and wiretapping political opponents, including priests, trade unionists and diplomats. Tracy Wilkinson, latimes.com, "Former Panama president extradited from U.S. to face corruption charges," 11 June 2018 Would a diehard Brexiteer prime minister risk yet another election, in a bid to win enough seats to ditch the unionists? The Economist, "Britain is heading for a soft Brexit," 16 June 2018

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

1722, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for unionist

Last Updated

9 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for unionist

The first known use of unionist was in 1722

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More Definitions for unionist



English Language Learners Definition of unionist

: someone who supports labor unions
: a supporter of the Union (sense 4b) during the American Civil War
: a person who believes that Northern Ireland should remain a part of the United Kingdom

More from Merriam-Webster on unionist

Nglish: Translation of unionist for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of unionist for Arabic Speakers

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