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[ahy-suh-ley-shuh-niz-uh m, is-uh-] /ˌaɪ səˈleɪ ʃəˌnɪz əm, ˌɪs ə-/
the policy or doctrine of isolating one's country from the affairs of other nations by declining to enter into alliances, foreign economic commitments, international agreements, etc., seeking to devote the entire efforts of one's country to its own advancement and remain at peace by avoiding foreign entanglements and responsibilities.
Origin of isolationism
1920-25, Americanism; isolation + -ism
Related forms
anti-isolationism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for isolationism
  • The citizenry in this former citadel of isolationism is somewhat skeptical but willing to listen.
  • His foreign policy stances often reflected his anti-Communist zeal and isolationism.
  • Economic isolationism is not in the national interest.
  • Neo-isolationism, as some called it, was setting in.
  • To call such a position isolationism is of course sheer demagoguery.
  • We choose leadership over isolationism, and the pursuit of free and fair trade and open markets over protectionism.
  • The key to further progress is lowering the barriers of isolationism and protectionism that remain.
  • Mutuality does not in way connote economic isolationism.
  • So she pays heed to this natural impulse of isolationism, but says simply that it won't work.
  • isolationism ain't the way to create a better world, never has been, never will be.
British Dictionary definitions for isolationism


a policy of nonparticipation in or withdrawal from international affairs
an attitude favouring such a policy
Derived Forms
isolationist, noun, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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isolationism in Culture

isolationism definition

The doctrine that a nation should stay out of the disputes and affairs of other nations. The United States practiced a policy of isolationism until World War I and did not pursue an active international policy until after World War II. (Seeentangling alliances with none.”)

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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