[ si-sesh-uh n ]
/ sɪˈsɛʃ ən /


an act or instance of seceding.
(often initial capital letter) U.S. History. the withdrawal from the Union of 11 Southern states in the period 1860–61, which brought on the Civil War.
(usually initial capital letter) Fine Arts. a style of art in Germany and Austria concurrent with and related to Art Nouveau.

Origin of secession

1525–35; < Latin sēcessiōn- (stem of sēcessiō) withdrawal, equivalent to sēcess(us) (past participle of sēcēdere to secede; see cession) + -iōn- -ion

Related forms

se·ces·sion·al, adjectivenon·se·ces·sion, nounnon·se·ces·sion·al, adjective

Can be confused

cession secession session Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for secession

British Dictionary definitions for secession


/ (sɪˈsɛʃən) /


the act of seceding
(often capital) mainly US the withdrawal in 1860–61 of 11 Southern states from the Union to form the Confederacy, precipitating the American Civil War

Derived Forms

secessional, adjectivesecessionism, nounsecessionist, noun, adjective

Word Origin for secession

C17: from Latin sēcessiō a withdrawing, from sēcēdere to secede
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

Culture definitions for secession


The withdrawal from the United States of eleven southern states in 1860 and 1861. The seceding states formed a government, the Confederacy, in early 1861. Hostilities against the remaining United States, the Union, began in April 1861 (see Fort Sumter), and the Civil War followed.

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.