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[zahy-uh-niz-uh m] /ˈzaɪ əˌnɪz əm/
a worldwide Jewish movement that resulted in the establishment and development of the state of Israel.
Origin of Zionism
First recorded in 1895-1900; Zion + -ism
Related forms
Zionist, noun, adjective
Zionistic, adjective
[zahy-uh nahyt] /ˈzaɪˌənaɪt/ (Show IPA),
anti-Zionism, noun
anti-Zionist, noun, adjective
non-Zionist, noun, adjective
pro-Zionism, noun
pro-Zionist, noun, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for zionist
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The zionist regards it as contemptible to conceal his nationality.

    Zionism and Anti-Semitism Max Simon Nordau
  • He mistook David for a zionist, and denounced him for a foreigner.

    Ghetto Comedies

    Israel Zangwill
  • In the interims, he played on the exciting stage of the zionist Congresses.

    The Jewish State Theodor Herzl
  • The bibliography and the chronology were prepared by the zionist Archives and Library.

    The Jewish State Theodor Herzl
  • In this sense Herzl could say later that the Dreyfus affair had made him a zionist.

    The Jewish State Theodor Herzl
British Dictionary definitions for zionist


a political movement for the establishment and support of a national homeland for Jews in Palestine, now concerned chiefly with the development of the modern state of Israel
a policy or movement for Jews to return to Palestine from the Diaspora
Derived Forms
Zionist, noun, adjective
Zionistic, 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 zionist


1896 (adj. and noun), from Zion + -ist.



"movement for forming (later supporting) a Jewish national state in Palestine," 1896, from German Zionismus (from Zion + Latin-derived suffix -ismus; see -ism); first recorded 1886 in "Selbstemancipation," by "Matthias Acher" (pseudonym of Nathan Birnbaum).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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zionist in Culture

Zionism definition

The belief that Jews should have their own nation; Jewish nationalism. Zionism gained much support among Jews and others in the early twentieth century, and the hoped-for nation was established in the late 1940s in Palestine, as the state of Israel. Zionism is opposed by most Arabs. (See Arab-Israeli conflict.)

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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