[ik-span-shuh-niz-uh m]


a policy of expansion, as of territory or currency: the colonial expansionism of Europe in the 19th century.

Origin of expansionism

First recorded in 1895–1900; expansion + -ism
Related formsex·pan·sion·ist, noun, adjectiveex·pan·sion·is·tic, adjectivean·ti·ex·pan·sion·ism, nounan·ti·ex·pan·sion·ist, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for expansionist

Contemporary Examples of expansionist

  • Born on April 15, 2009—Tax Day—the Tea Party movement was conceived last winter as a populist protest to expansionist government.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Tea Party Splatters

    Samuel P. Jacobs

    January 11, 2010

Historical Examples of expansionist

British Dictionary definitions for expansionist



the doctrine or practice of expanding the economy or territory of a country
Derived Formsexpansionist, noun, adjectiveexpansionistic, 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

Word Origin and History for expansionist

"one who advocates the expansion of the territory of his nation," 1864, from expansion + -ist. Related: Expansionism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper