Definition of particularism in English:

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Pronunciation: /pəˈtɪkjʊlərɪz(ə)m/


[mass noun]
1Exclusive attachment to one’s own group, party, or nation: such barriers are created by local particularism and privilege [count noun]: the decomposition of the old Europe has highlighted nationalistic and ethnic particularisms
More example sentences
  • Usually they're mocked as advocating some old-fashioned left-wing politics or some particularism, like saving local conditions against globalism.
  • There is, in fact, a natural cap on local property tax rates imposed by local particularism.
  • To enable basic tax reform at the local level we must deal with local particularism.
1.1The principle of leaving each state in an empire or federation free to govern itself and promote its own interests, without reference to those of the whole.
Example sentences
  • In an earlier period, when they were directed against feudal particularism and colonialism, struggles to form nation-states had a progressive content, were unifying movements.
  • Identity politics, particularism, and localism against the uniformity of abstract universalism are common features of the postmodern condition.
  • To separate nationalism from regionalism or particularism is difficult and often depends upon the eye of the observer.
2 Theology The doctrine that some but not all people are elected and redeemed.
Example sentences
  • In Levenson's approach, biblical particularism contains a universal horizon, but this universal horizon is not a new superior stage of religious faith.
  • One further point is that even the propensity to pair universalism and inclusivism over against particularism and exclusivism is problematic when applied to the biblical period.
  • Surely the kind of moral universalism to which all four thinkers aspired is no less an aspect of the Jewish experience in modernity than the assertion of Jewish particularism.



Pronunciation: /pəˈtɪkjʊlərɪst/
noun& adjective
Example sentences
  • One reason this sometimes occurs is that its formal processes are functionally defective in permitting the particularist interests of unjust associations to block effective decision-making for intervention and rescue.
  • Rifts are common and frequent, and continually being patched over or exploited by different would-be leaders seeking a panethnic or more particularist base.
  • Liberalism had come to seem not a universalist creed, something for all Americans to embrace, but a particularist creed.


Example sentences
  • Resistance has been ubiquitous in slave systems, but it has usually been particularistic - freedom for a given person or group - and often frustrated.
  • In the longer term, however, the sovereign state, in alliance with liberal ideals, moved beyond particularistic notions of justice to universal ones.
  • There is nothing wrong with a humanitarian intent, but one must always be sceptical of particularistic motives hiding behind the assertion of a universalist ethic.


Early 19th century: from French particularisme, modern Latin particularismus, and German Partikularismus, based on Latin particularis 'concerning a small part'.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: par|ticu¦lar|ism

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