[uh-pahrt-heyt, -hahyt]
(in the Republic of South Africa) a rigid policy of segregation of the nonwhite population.
any system or practice that separates people according to race, caste, etc.

1945–50; < Afrikaans, equivalent to apart apart + -heid -hood

antiapartheid, noun, adjective
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World English Dictionary
apartheid (əˈpɑːthaɪt, -heɪt)
(in South Africa) the official government policy of racial segregation; officially renounced in 1992
[C20: Afrikaans, from apartapart + -heid-hood]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1947 (policy begun 1948), from Afrikaans apartheid (1929 in a S.African socio-political context), lit. "separateness," from Du. apart "separate" (from Fr. àpart; see apart) + suffix -heid, cognate of Eng. -hood. The official Eng. synonym was separate development (1955).
" 'Segregation' is such an active word that it suggests someone is trying to segregate someone else. So the word 'apartheid' was introduced. Now it has such a stench in the nostrils of the world, they are referring to 'autogenous development.' " [Alan Paton, "New York Times," Oct. 24, 1960]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary
apartheid [(uh-pahr-teyet, uh-pahr-tayt)]

The racist policy (see racism) of South Africa that long denied blacks and other nonwhites civic, social, and economic equality with whites. It was dismantled during the 1990s. (See Nelson Mandela.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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