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tribalism Line breaks: tri¦bal|ism
Pronunciation: /ˈtrʌɪbəlɪz(ə)m/

Definition of tribalism in English:


[mass noun]
1The state or fact of being organized in a tribe or tribes.
Example sentences
  • Although the contemporary policy ramifications of the new push toward regionalism and this new tribalism have only been briefly touched upon in this paper, it nonetheless lays some foundations for future research.
  • Kenya continues to suffer from tribalism and corruption, as well as high population growth, unemployment, political instability, and the AIDS epidemic.
  • Both the Soviets and the current government have promoted his wisdom in efforts to foster nationalism over tribalism.
1.1chiefly derogatory The behaviour and attitudes that stem from strong loyalty to one’s own tribe or social group: a society motivated by cultural tribalism
More example sentences
  • It is religion that manifests the tribalism of human behavior most clearly.
  • Our conversation returns, as they are wont to do in these circumstances, to tribalism - county rivalries.
  • When they get into their bureaucratic tribe, their tribalism comes out.


noun (chiefly derogatory)
Example sentences
  • Zambians are able to make informed and intelligent choices and be not easily swayed by politicking and rumours about our leaders being tribalists.
  • A vast number of them are primitive tribalists at best and racists at worst.
  • I suspect this barrier, too, will fail, and when it does it will be a sign of the final fading of tribalist thinking.
Pronunciation: /trʌɪbəˈlɪstɪk/
adjective (chiefly derogatory)
Example sentences
  • And the tribalistic fear and distrust between the races will certainly persist, at least, until the races have merged to the point that humans cannot observe racial differences between themselves.
  • These sport reporters have a tribalistic, unpatriotic and centralistic tendencies in the way they report, and this should be condemned by all like-minded Namibians.
  • I also wonder how much of the world soccer explains when, during a period in which tribalistic and nationalistic hooliganism seemed rampant, a new, united Europe was being forged.
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