[sek-shuh-nl-iz-uh m]


excessive regard for sectional or local interests; regional or local spirit, prejudice, etc.

Origin of sectionalism

An Americanism dating back to 1850–55; sectional + -ism
Related formssec·tion·al·ist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for sectionalism

Contemporary Examples of sectionalism

Historical Examples of sectionalism

  • As a consequence, sectionalism is active with us, and apathetic with you.


    Frederic S. Cozzens

  • And lurking behind all was the specter of slavery and sectionalism.

  • Such is my nationality—such my sectionalism—such my patriotism.

  • The sectionalism of slavery was at last met by the sectionalism of freedom.

    William Lloyd Garrison

    Archibald H. Grimke

  • She wants Texas as a focus of contention, a rallying point of sectionalism.

    54-40 or Fight

    Emerson Hough

British Dictionary definitions for sectionalism



excessive or narrow-minded concern for local or regional interests as opposed to the interests of the whole
Derived Formssectionalist, noun, 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 sectionalism

1836, American English, from sectional + -ism. In frequent use from 1856.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper