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[si-sesh-uh n] /sɪˈsɛʃ ən/
an act or instance of seceding.
(often initial capital letter) U.S. History. the withdrawal from the Union of 11 Southern states in the period 1860–61, which brought on the Civil War.
(usually initial capital letter) Fine Arts. a style of art in Germany and Austria concurrent with and related to Art Nouveau.
Origin of secession
1525-35; < Latin sēcessiōn- (stem of sēcessiō) withdrawal, equivalent to sēcess(us) (past participle of sēcēdere to secede; see cession) + -iōn- -ion
Related forms
secessional, adjective
nonsecession, noun
nonsecessional, adjective
Can be confused
cession, secession, session. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for secession
  • The tension over money abetted talk of secession and an unusually divisive political season this fall.
  • His reluctance to make definitive public statements on the secession crisis was an ongoing theme in his remarks on this journey.
  • The political virus of secession was planted there long before the disease broke out here.
  • But he drew the line-a bright, sharp line, defended by arms if necessary-at anything that even hinted at secession.
  • No one then dreamed of four years' war, but every one dreamed of secession.
  • It should be kept in mind that comparatively few of those who won renown on the field were promoters of rebellion or secession.
  • They regarded secession as treason, and emancipation as a noble cause.
  • They stand accused of alleged atrocities during the country's war of secession, and face possible execution.
  • The current sharing arrangement, designed for a single sovereign country, is likely to change after secession.
  • secession proposal for more information, see new york city secession.
British Dictionary definitions for secession


the act of seceding
(often capital) (mainly US) the withdrawal in 1860–61 of 11 Southern states from the Union to form the Confederacy, precipitating the American Civil War
Derived Forms
secessional, adjective
secessionism, noun
secessionist, noun, adjective
Word Origin
C17: from Latin sēcessiō a withdrawing, from sēcēdere to secede
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 secession

1530s, from Latin secessionem (nominative secessio) "a withdrawal, separation; political withdrawal, insurrection, schism," noun of action from past participle stem of secedere "secede," from se- "apart" (see secret) + cedere "to go" (see cede). Originally in a Roman historical context, "temporary migration of plebeians from the city to compel patricians to address their grievances;" modern use in reference to religious or political unions dates from 1650s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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secession in Culture

secession definition

The withdrawal from the United States of eleven southern states in 1860 and 1861. The seceding states formed a government, the Confederacy, in early 1861. Hostilities against the remaining United States, the Union, began in April 1861 (see Fort Sumter), and the Civil War followed.

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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