• synonyms


[ahy-suh-ley-shuh-niz-uh m, is-uh-]
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  1. the policy or doctrine of isolating one's country from the affairs of other nations by declining to enter into alliances, foreign economic commitments, international agreements, etc., seeking to devote the entire efforts of one's country to its own advancement and remain at peace by avoiding foreign entanglements and responsibilities.
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Origin of isolationism

An Americanism dating back to 1920–25; isolation + -ism
Related formsan·ti-i·so·la·tion·ism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for isolationism


  1. a policy of nonparticipation in or withdrawal from international affairs
  2. an attitude favouring such a policy
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Derived Formsisolationist, noun, 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

isolationism in Culture


The doctrine that a nation should stay out of the disputes and affairs of other nations. The United States practiced a policy of isolationism until World War I and did not pursue an active international policy until after World War II. (Seeentangling alliances with none.”)

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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.