[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.

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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for particularistic

Historical Examples of particularistic

  • An immigrant, Hamilton had no particularistic ties; he was by instinct a “continentalist” or federalist.

  • Why did their polity not break up into a wilderness of tiny social groups, each jealous and particularistic, like medieval Europe?

    Government in Republican China

    Paul Myron Anthony Linebarger

  • Without the State, the particularistic, private side of man's nature would have free sway to express itself.


    John Dewey and James Hayden Tufts

  • On the other hand, it was Webster who, at this time, appeared narrow and particularistic.

    The Middle Period 1817-1858

    John William Burgess

British Dictionary definitions for particularistic


  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
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