[ muhl-tee-kuhl-cher-uh-liz-uh m, muhl-tahy- ]
/ ˌmʌl tiˈkʌl tʃər əˌlɪz əm, ˌmʌl taɪ- /


the state or condition of being multicultural.
the preservation of different cultures or cultural identities within a unified society, as a state or nation.

Nearby words

  1. multicolor,
  2. multicolored,
  3. multicoloured,
  4. multiculti,
  5. multicultural,
  6. multicuspid,
  7. multicylinder,
  8. multidentate,
  9. multidimensional,
  10. multidirectional

Origin of multiculturalism

First recorded in 1960–65; multicultural + -ism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for multiculturalism

British Dictionary definitions for multiculturalism


/ (ˌmʌltɪˈkʌltʃərəˌlɪzəm) /


the state or condition of being multicultural
the policy of maintaining a diversity of ethnic cultures within a community
Derived Formsmulticulturalist, adjective, noun

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 multiculturalism



1965, from multicultural + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for multiculturalism


The view that the various cultures in a society merit equal respect and scholarly interest. It became a significant force in American society in the 1970s and 1980s as African-Americans, Latinos, and other ethnic groups explored their own history.

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.