[nash-uh-nl-iz-uh m, nash-nuh-liz-]
See more synonyms for nationalism on
  1. spirit or aspirations common to the whole of a nation.
  2. devotion and loyalty to one's own country; patriotism.
  3. excessive patriotism; chauvinism.
  4. the desire for national advancement or political independence.
  5. the policy or doctrine of asserting the interests of one's own nation viewed as separate from the interests of other nations or the common interests of all nations.
  6. an idiom or trait peculiar to a nation.
  7. a movement, as in the arts, based upon the folk idioms, history, aspirations, etc., of a nation.

Origin of nationalism

First recorded in 1830–40; national + -ism
Related formsan·ti·na·tion·al·ism, nounnon·na·tion·al·ism, nounpro·na·tion·al·ism, nounsem·i·na·tion·al·ism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nationalism

Contemporary Examples of nationalism

Historical Examples of nationalism

  • The freaks of nationalism are as remarkable as the freaks of internationalism.

    Mountain Meditations

    L. Lind-af-Hageby

  • Have we not sons to advance and daughters to marry in the world, and how much will Nationalism do for these?

    Lord Kilgobbin

    Charles Lever

  • If that be nationalism, then, of course, we are all nationalists.

    The Arena


  • It begins now to be plain as to what “tolerance” is to be in the millennial era of nationalism.

    The Arena


  • Take this feature away, and there is no nationalism left to even talk about.

    The Arena


British Dictionary definitions for nationalism


  1. a sentiment based on common cultural characteristics that binds a population and often produces a policy of national independence or separatism
  2. loyalty or devotion to one's country; patriotism
  3. exaggerated, passionate, or fanatical devotion to a national communitySee also chauvinism
Derived Formsnationalist, noun, adjectivenationalistic, 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 nationalism

1844, "devotion to one's country;" see nationalist + -ism; in some usages from French nationalisme. Earlier it was used in a theological sense of "the doctrine of divine election of nations" (1836). Later it was used in a sense of "doctrine advocating nationalization of a country's industry" (1892).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

nationalism in Culture


The strong belief that the interests of a particular nation-state are of primary importance. Also, the belief that a people who share a common language, history, and culture should constitute an independent nation, free of foreign domination.


Nationalism is opposed to colonialism and imperialism.
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.