[ zahy-uh-niz-uhm ]

  1. a worldwide Jewish movement that resulted in the establishment and development of the state of Israel and that now supports the state of Israel as a Jewish homeland.

Origin of Zionism

First recorded in 1895–1900; Zion + -ism

Other words from Zionism

  • Zi·on·ist, noun, adjective
  • Zi·on·is·tic, adjective
  • Zi·on·ite [zahy-uhnahyt], /ˈzaɪˌənaɪt/, noun
  • an·ti-Zi·on·ism, noun
  • an·ti-Zi·on·ist, noun, adjective
  • non-Zi·on·ist, noun, adjective
  • pro-Zi·on·ism, noun
  • pro-Zi·on·ist, noun, adjective

Words Nearby Zionism

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

How to use Zionism in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for Zionism


/ (ˈzaɪəˌnɪzəm) /

  1. a political movement for the establishment and support of a national homeland for Jews in Palestine, now concerned chiefly with the development of the modern state of Israel

  2. a policy or movement for Jews to return to Palestine from the Diaspora

Derived forms of Zionism

  • Zionist, noun, adjective
  • Zionistic, 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

Cultural definitions for Zionism


The belief that Jews (see also Jews) should have their own nation; Jewish nationalism. Zionism gained much support among Jews and others in the early twentieth century, and the hoped-for nation was established in the late 1940s in Palestine, as the state of Israel. Zionism is opposed by most Arabs. (See Arab-Israeli conflict.)

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.