Definition of Balkanize in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈbôlkəˌnīz/


[with object]
Divide (a region or body) into smaller mutually hostile states or groups.
Example sentences
  • Meanwhile this often Balkanised city has been united by the Lakers' triumph.
  • But they also Balkanised the research, dividing it up into many different journals, most of which charge for access.
  • Preferential agreements are creating ‘a series of islands or island economic units’ and there is a risk of ‘further Balkanising the global economy.’



Pronunciation: /ˌbôlkəˌnīˈzāSH(ə)n/
Example sentences
  • The division of peoples along national, ethnic and religious lines can lead only to a Balkanisation of the continent, with the most terrible consequences.
  • What do we want, a Balkanisation of the country?
  • The drive to create a clearer national identity is also backed by religious leaders who are likewise concerned about the Balkanisation of the country.


1920s: from Balkan Peninsula (where this was done in the late 19th and early 20th century) + -ize.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Bal·kan·ize

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