Definition of nativism in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈnādəˌvizəm/


1chiefly US The policy of protecting the interests of native-born or established inhabitants against those of immigrants: a deep vein of xenophobia and nativism
More example sentences
  • Nineteenth-century common-school advocates combined a desire for creating a liberal democratic citizenry with xenophobia, anti-Catholicism, and nativism.
  • Nonetheless, this era had the same conflicts (over cultural diversity and nativism, for example) as later periods, and established lasting policies toward immigrants and aliens.
  • There will be a spasm of nativism and anti-immigrant feelings that we have not seen in a long time.
2A return to or emphasis on traditional or local customs, in opposition to outside influences.
Example sentences
  • Multiculturalism stands as the heir to nineteenth-century nativism not by any explicit hostility to Catholicism, but rather through its explicit, if sometimes obtuse, hostility to culture.
3The theory or doctrine that concepts, mental capacities, and mental structures are innate rather than acquired or learned.
Example sentences
  • But history leads me to agree with the author that nativism and racism are powerful populist impulses pretty much everywhere.
  • He initiates the central skirmish of this book by tracing a dividing line between Chomsky's nativism and the so-called New Synthesis Psychology.



noun& adjective
Example sentences
  • But such talk inflamed nativists, and they and their Catholic foes were juggled by the various political parties from mid-century onward.
  • The immigrant-bashing nativists will battle the free marketeers.
  • We see echoes of this perspective in the writings of Noam Chomsky and Jerry Fodor, self-identified nativists.


Pronunciation: /ˌnātiˈvistik/
Example sentences
  • The white slave panic of 1909-10 provoked an even more irrational and nativistic wave of government intrusiveness.
  • Their nativistic posture that the ‘indigenous peoples put themselves on the map’ would erase the essential role of the researcher through their politicized rhetoric.
  • Such antipathy, especially toward strong forms of bilingual education, is rooted in nativistic and melting pot ideologies that tend to demonize the ‘other.’

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: na·tiv·ism

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