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Manifest Destiny

the belief or doctrine, held chiefly in the middle and latter part of the 19th century, that it was the destiny of the U.S. to expand its territory over the whole of North America and to extend and enhance its political, social, and economic influences.
Origin of Manifest Destiny
First recorded in 1835-45 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Manifest Destiny
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The Western man believed in the Manifest Destiny of his country.

    The Frontier in American History

    Frederick Jackson Turner
  • It at once became apparent to me as a piece of Manifest Destiny that I must do it.

    Memoirs Charles Godfrey Leland
  • Manifest Destiny points the way in gestures that cannot be mistaken.

    The American Empire

    Scott Nearing
  • "I suppose it's the Manifest Destiny of a woman," replied her sister, quietly.

    A Black Adonis

    Linn Boyd Porter
  • Manifest Destiny was misread by even the wisest of our grandfathers.

    History of Linn County Iowa Luther A. Brewer
  • Occasionally only we obeyed our “Manifest Destiny” with reluctance.

  • Up to the age of fourteen, I think this was regarded as my Manifest Destiny.

    Peter Parley's Own Story Samuel G. Goodrich
British Dictionary definitions for Manifest Destiny

Manifest Destiny

(esp in the 19th-century US) the belief that the US was a chosen land that had been allotted the entire North American continent by God
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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Manifest Destiny in Culture

manifest destiny definition

A popular slogan of the 1840s. It was used by people who believed that the United States was destined — by God, some said — to expand across North America to the Pacific Ocean. The idea of manifest destiny was used to justify the acquisition of Oregon and large parts of the Southwest, including California. (See Mexican War.)

The 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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