[ uh-pahrt-hahyt, -heyt, uh-pahr-tahyt, -teyt ]
/ əˈpɑrt haɪt, -heɪt, əˈpɑr taɪt, -teɪt /


(in the Republic of South Africa) a rigid former policy of segregating and economically and politically oppressing the nonwhite population.
any system or practice that separates people according to color, ethnicity, caste, etc.

Origin of apartheid

1945–50; < Afrikaans, equivalent to apart apart + -heid -hood


an·ti·a·part·heid, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for apartheid

British Dictionary definitions for apartheid

/ (əˈpɑːthaɪt, -heɪt) /


(in South Africa) the official government policy of racial segregation; officially renounced in 1992

Word Origin for apartheid

C20: Afrikaans, from apart apart + -heid -hood
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

Culture definitions for apartheid

[ (uh-pahr-teyet, uh-pahr-tayt) ]

The racist policy (see racism) of South Africa that long denied blacks and other nonwhites civic, social, and economic equality with whites. It was dismantled during the 1990s. (See Nelson Mandela.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.