[ nee-oh-kuh-loh-nee-uh-liz-uhm ]
/ ˌni oʊ kəˈloʊ ni əˌlɪz əm /
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the policy of a strong nation in seeking political and economic hegemony over an independent nation or extended geographical area without necessarily reducing the subordinate nation or area to the legal status of a colony.
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The rainy weather could not ________ my elated spirits on my graduation day.
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Origin of neocolonialism

First recorded in 1960–65; neo- + colonialism

OTHER WORDS FROM neocolonialism

ne·o·co·lo·ni·al, ne·o·co·lo·ni·al·ist, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use neocolonialism in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for neocolonialism

/ (ˌniːəʊkəˈləʊnɪəˌlɪzəm) /

(in the modern world) political control by an outside power of a country that is in theory sovereign and independent, esp through the domination of its economy

Derived forms of neocolonialism

neocolonial, adjectiveneocolonialist, 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

Cultural definitions for neocolonialism


The dominance of strong nations over weak nations, not by direct political control (as in traditional colonialism), but by economic and cultural influence.

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.