[ ter-i-tawr-ee-uh-liz-uhm, -tohr- ]

  1. a principle or system that gives predominance to the landed classes.

  2. Also called territorial system. a theory of church policy according to which the supreme ecclesiastical authority is vested in the civil power.

Origin of territorialism

First recorded in 1870–75; territorial + -ism

Other words from territorialism

  • ter·ri·to·ri·al·ist, noun

Words Nearby territorialism

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use territorialism in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for territorialism


/ (ˌtɛrɪˈtɔːrɪəlɪzəm) /

  1. a social system under which the predominant force in the state is the landed class

  2. a former Protestant theory that the civil government has the right to determine the religious beliefs of the subjects of a state

Derived forms of territorialism

  • territorialist, 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