[zahy-uh-niz-uh m]

Origin of Zionism

First recorded in 1895–1900; Zion + -ism
Related formsZi·on·ist, noun, adjectiveZi·on·is·tic, adjectiveZi·on·ite [zahy-uh nahyt] /ˈzaɪˌənaɪt/, nounan·ti-Zi·on·ism, nounan·ti-Zi·on·ist, noun, adjectivenon-Zi·on·ist, noun, adjectivepro-Zi·on·ism, nounpro-Zi·on·ist, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for zionist

Contemporary Examples of zionist

Historical Examples of zionist

  • The Zionist regards it as contemptible to conceal his nationality.

  • He mistook David for a Zionist, and denounced him for a foreigner.

    Ghetto Comedies

    Israel Zangwill

  • In the interims, he played on the exciting stage of the Zionist Congresses.

    The Jewish State

    Theodor Herzl

  • The Jewish masses must be organized for the support of the Zionist movement.

    The Jewish State

    Theodor Herzl

  • The Congress was declared to be "the chief organ of the Zionist movement."

    The Jewish State

    Theodor Herzl

British Dictionary definitions for zionist


  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 FormsZionist, noun, adjectiveZionistic, 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 zionist


1896 (adj. and noun), from Zion + -ist.



"movement for forming (later supporting) a Jewish national state in Palestine," 1896, from German Zionismus (from Zion + Latin-derived suffix -ismus; see -ism); first recorded 1886 in "Selbstemancipation," by "Matthias Acher" (pseudonym of Nathan Birnbaum).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

zionist in Culture


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.