[yoo-nuh-lat-er-uh-liz-uh m]


the advocacy or pursuit of a unilateral policy, especially in disarmament.

Origin of unilateralism

First recorded in 1925–30; unilateral + -ism
Related formsu·ni·lat·er·al·ist, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for unilateralism

Contemporary Examples of unilateralism

Word Origin and History for unilateralism

1926, from unilateral + -ism. Earliest usages seem to be in the sense of "advocate of unilateral disarmament." Meaning "pursuit of a foreign policy without allies" is attested by 1964.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

unilateralism in Culture



Action initiated or taken by a single nation rather than by two nations (see bilateralism) (see also bilateralism) or several (see multilateralism). For example, a nation might choose to disarm unilaterally in the hope that others will follow. (See recognition.)

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.