[ney-ti-viz-uh m]
  1. the policy of protecting the interests of native inhabitants against those of immigrants.
  2. the policy or practice of preserving or reviving an indigenous culture.
  3. Philosophy. the doctrine that innate ideas exist.
  4. innateness hypothesis.

Origin of nativism

An Americanism dating back to 1835–45; native + -ism
Related formsna·tiv·ist, noun, adjectivena·tiv·is·tic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for nativistic

Historical Examples of nativistic

  • The one view results in the nativistic, the other in the empiristic theory.

    Visual Illusions

    Matthew Luckiesh

British Dictionary definitions for nativistic


  1. mainly US the policy of favouring the natives of a country over the immigrants
  2. anthropol the policy of protecting and reaffirming native tribal cultures in reaction to acculturation
  3. the doctrine that the mind and its capacities are innately structured and that much knowledge is innate
Derived Formsnativist, noun, adjectivenativistic, 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 nativistic



U.S. anti-immigrant movement, 1845, from native (adj.) + -ism. Later used in other contexts. Related: Nativist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper