• synonyms


[per-tik-yuh-luh-riz-uh m, puh-tik-]
  1. exclusive attention or devotion to one's own particular interests, party, etc.
  2. the principle of leaving each state of a federation free to retain its laws and promote its interests.
  3. Theology. the doctrine that divine grace is provided only for the elect.
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Origin of particularism

From the French word particularisme, dating back to 1815–25. See particular, -ism
Related formspar·tic·u·lar·ist, nounpar·tic·u·lar·is·tic, adjectivepar·tic·u·lar·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for particularism

Historical Examples of particularism

  • Particularism was strongest in colonies with no Indian frontier.

    The Frontier in American History

    Frederick Jackson Turner

  • Yet for herself she transcended the particularism that it involved.

  • It was the heyday of particularism, of craft unionism complete.

  • But, in so doing, it accepted the particularism of experience and proceeded to supplement it from non-empirical sources.

    Creative Intelligence

    John Dewey, Addison W. Moore, Harold Chapman Brown, George H. Mead, Boyd H. Bode, Henry Waldgrave, Stuart James, Hayden Tufts, Horace M. Kallen

  • But particularism was still strong, especially in the smaller provinces.

    History of Holland

    George Edmundson

British Dictionary definitions for particularism


  1. exclusive attachment to the interests of one group, class, sect, etc, esp at the expense of the community as a whole
  2. the principle of permitting each state or minority in a federation the right to further its own interests or retain its own laws, traditions, etc
  3. theol the doctrine that divine grace is restricted to the elect
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Derived Formsparticularist, noun, adjectiveparticularistic, 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