• synonyms


[sep-er-uh-tist, -uh-rey-]
See more synonyms for separatist on Thesaurus.com
  1. a person who separates, withdraws, or secedes, as from an established church.
  2. an advocate of separation, especially ecclesiastical or political separation.
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  1. of, relating to, or designating separatism or separatists: separatist forces; separatist tendencies.
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Origin of separatist

1600–10; separate (adj.) + -ist
Related formssep·a·ra·tism, nounan·ti·sep·a·ra·tist, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words for separatism

discrimination, apartheid, division, dissociation, disunion, partition, isolation, seclusion

Examples from the Web for separatism

Contemporary Examples of separatism

Historical Examples of separatism

  • Unionism and order: Separatism and ordure—that is about the sum.

    Ireland as It Is

    Robert John Buckley (AKA R.J.B.)

  • The second was the so-called Cossack separatism or self-determination.

    The Russian Turmoil

    Anton Ivanovich Denikin

  • Separatism, disorder, and devastation, were the natural consequence.

  • The aims of separatism may be classed as direct and indirect.

    The Katipunan

    J. Brecknock Watson (AKA Francis St. Clair)

  • It is one of the glaring weaknesses of the policy of Free Imports that it actually puts a premium on separatism.

British Dictionary definitions for separatism



    1. a person who advocates or practises secession from an organization or group
    2. (as modifier)a separatist movement
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Derived Formsseparatism, nounseparatistic, adjective


  1. (sometimes not capital) a person who advocates the secession of a province, esp Quebec, from Canada
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Derived FormsSeparatism, 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

Word Origin and History for separatism


1620s, from separate + -ism. First used in a denominational religious sense; from 1866 in a political sense.

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c.1600, from separate + -ist. First used in a denominational religious sense; of political separations from 1871.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper