Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Militant devotion to and glorification of one's country; fanatical patriotism.
  • n. Prejudiced belief in the superiority of one's own gender, group, or kind: "the chauvinism . . . of making extraterrestrial life in our own image” ( Henry S.F. Cooper, Jr.)

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. Excessive patriotism, eagerness for national superiority; jingoism.
  • n. Unwarranted bias, favoritism, or devotion to one's own particular group, cause, or idea.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Blind and absurd devotion to a fallen leader or an obsolete cause; hence, absurdly vainglorious or exaggerated patriotism.
  • n. exaggerated and unreasoning partisanship to any group or cause; -- .

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The sentiments of a chauvin; enthusiastic, unreflecting devotion to any cause; especially, absurdly exaggerated patriotism or military enthusiasm.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. fanatical patriotism
  • n. activity indicative of belief in the superiority of men over women

Etymologies

French chauvinisme, after Nicolas Chauvin, a legendary French soldier famous for his devotion to Napoleon.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Borrowing from French chauvinisme (originally ‘idealistic devotion to Napoleon’), named from Nicolas Chauvin de Rochefort, a soldier of the First Republic known for his excessive patriotism, especially famous after featuring as a character in Cogniard's play La Cocarde Tricolore. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Israeli chauvinism is for some reason seen by political elites as the only politically viable stance, but there is no reason to suppose that real people feel the same way.

    Matthew Yglesias » Standing Back

  • The "Le Pen" of American public life (cf. the French you love to hate) apparently believes that demagogic national chauvinism is a ticket to political success.

    Lou Dobbs weighing White House run in 2012

  • In polarised situations, it is almost natural for politicians to try and compete with each other in chauvinism rather than in their willingness to accommodate - Sri Lanka and Israel/Palestine are particularly obvious examples, as indeed is Northern Ireland.

    Samuel Pepys is amazed

  • The chauvinism is very much of its era, and yet the show is self-aware of its sexism and makes fun of itself.

    652 : Bev Vincent

  • I believe most readers would be able to understand that this is the use of the word chauvinism that I had in mind in my comment, even though you believe this use to be an “original albeit nonsensical” one.

    Lean Left » Blog Archive » Reading Soldier of Fortune in Tehran: Another War of Choice on an Islamic Nation for Non-Existent WMDs

  • Have you noticed that male chauvinism is making a comeback?

    The Return of the Pig

  • ‡ The word chauvinism is often used as shorthand for “male chauvinism, ” a term describing the attitudes of men who believe that women are inferior and should not be given equal status with men.

    chauvinism

  • To carry patriotism to the edge of chauvinism is to abandon the discipline of thought, which is the only safeguard against self-seeking patriotism.

    Canada, the Crown and Chauvinism

  • While the federal political structure has worked remarkably well in the context of India, where coexistence of several ethnic / linguistic states acts as buffer to any chauvinism from the Hindi heartland, it is unlikely to work in Sri Lanka where there are only two main ethnic groups.

    TamilNet Newswire

  • Intelligentsiya’s bias toward ethnic chauvinism is quite glaring and foreigners should be advised that you are helping give credibility to an extremely racist website.

    Global Voices in English » Fiji: Devaluation debate

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