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[nash-uh-nl-iz-uh m, nash-nuh-liz-] /ˈnæʃ ə nlˌɪz əm, ˈnæʃ nəˌlɪz-/
spirit or aspirations common to the whole of a nation.
devotion and loyalty to one's own country; patriotism.
excessive patriotism; chauvinism.
the desire for national advancement or political independence.
the policy or doctrine of asserting the interests of one's own nation viewed as separate from the interests of other nations or the common interests of all nations.
an idiom or trait peculiar to a nation.
a movement, as in the arts, based upon the folk idioms, history, aspirations, etc., of a nation.
Origin of nationalism
1830-40; national + -ism
Related forms
antinationalism, noun
nonnationalism, noun
pronationalism, noun
seminationalism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for nationalism
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Such a competitive stage would represent little advance over the present nationalism.

    The Next Step Scott Nearing
  • From this caricature of itself the Jewish nationalism is safe.

    Zionism and Anti-Semitism Max Simon Nordau
  • It has forgotten the everlasting lesson of history that mergence of distinct types means the perpetuation of nationalism.

  • Its members, as may be guessed, profess the strongest form of nationalism.

    Lady Bountiful George A. Birmingham
  • These memoranda were an accurate reflection of the different shades of Indian nationalism.

    The New World of Islam Lothrop Stoddard
British Dictionary definitions for nationalism


/ˈnæʃənəˌlɪzəm; ˈnæʃnə-/
a sentiment based on common cultural characteristics that binds a population and often produces a policy of national independence or separatism
loyalty or devotion to one's country; patriotism
exaggerated, passionate, or fanatical devotion to a national community See also chauvinism
Derived Forms
nationalist, noun, adjective
nationalistic, 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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Word Origin and History for nationalism

1844, "devotion to one's country;" see nationalist + -ism; in some usages from French nationalisme. Earlier it was used in a theological sense of "the doctrine of divine election of nations" (1836). Later it was used in a sense of "doctrine advocating nationalization of a country's industry" (1892).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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nationalism in Culture

nationalism definition

The strong belief that the interests of a particular nation-state are of primary importance. Also, the belief that a people who share a common language, history, and culture should constitute an independent nation, free of foreign domination.

Note: Nationalism is opposed to colonialism and imperialism.
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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