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1. A sociopolitical policy, especially in the United States in the 1800s, favoring the interests of established inhabitants over those of immigrants.
2. The reestablishment or perpetuation of native cultural traits, especially in opposition to acculturation.
3. Philosophy The doctrine that the mind produces ideas that are not derived from external sources.

na′tiv·ist n.
na′tiv·is′tic adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. (Government, Politics & Diplomacy) chiefly US the policy of favouring the natives of a country over the immigrants
2. (Anthropology & Ethnology) anthropol the policy of protecting and reaffirming native tribal cultures in reaction to acculturation
3. (Philosophy) the doctrine that the mind and its capacities are innately structured and that much knowledge is innate
ˈnativist n, adj
ˌnativˈistic adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈneɪ tɪˌvɪz əm)

1. the policy of protecting the interests of native inhabitants against those of immigrants.
2. the policy or practice of preserving or reviving an indigenous culture.
3. the doctrine that certain knowledge, ideas, behavior, or capacities exist innately.
[1835–45, Amer.]
na′tiv•ist, n., adj.
na`tiv•is′tic, adj.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


the belief that the human brain is capable of spontaneous or innate ideas. See also foreigners. — nativist, n.nativistic, adj.
See also: Philosophy
the custom or policy of favoring native-born citizens over immigrants, as in the awarding of government jobs. See also philosophy. — nativist, n.nativistic, adj.
See also: Foreigners
the custom or policy of favoring nativeborn citizens over immigrants, as in the awarding of government jobs. See also philosophy. — nativist, n. — nativistic, adj.
See also: Nationalism
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.nativism - the policy of perpetuating native cultures (in opposition to acculturation)
social policy - a policy of for dealing with social issues
2.nativism - (philosophy) the philosophical theory that some ideas are innate
philosophy - the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics
philosophical doctrine, philosophical theory - a doctrine accepted by adherents to a philosophy
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The simplest answer is that Putin is recycling the talking points of the alt-right nativists who have been disrupting Western politics in recent years.
Using copious examples, Lew-Williams documents how some nativists petitioned Congress to slam shut the gates ever more tightly with legislation, while others in city after city launched violent campaigns to oust the Chinese.
But that has not stop nativists from wanting to draw blood.
Scholars from a wide array of disciplines explore ethical and philosophical aspects of globalization now that nativists, racists, and fascists are opposing it as well as liberals resisting corporate dominance.
Because Denmark's nativists have, like Marine Le Pen in France, combined xenophobic populism with a spirited defence of a generous welfare state, they've managed to siphon working-class voters away from the left.
Hence, America can't stop what nativists call "mass immigration" without breaking up nuclear families.
On the one hand, most conservatives represent nativists and nationalist constituencies that don't like immigration.
That globalism will exacerbate, as it always does everywhere, the income disparity and the gap between the rich and the poor, between the globalised middle class and the nativists disenfranchised by that very globalisation.
Borjas, a Cuban-American professor of economics at the Harvard Kennedy School and a recognized immigration scholar, writes: "Despite the fact that all of us are immigrants or descendants of immigrants, American history is characterized by a never-ending debate over when to pull the ladder in." Each wave of newly arrived immigrants - the Irish in the 1940s, the Chinese in the 1870s, the Italians and Jews at the turn of the century, South and Southeast Asians in the 1970s - has triggered heated, at times bitter, controversy by nativists. Example: In 1790, the population of the United States stood at a puny 4 million.
The vile insinuation of dual loyalty -- made by nativists and anti-Semites to impugn the patriotism of Catholics and Jews -- found an echo in Dianne Williamson's column on the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision, ("Women, science lose to religion,'' Telegram & Gazette, July 3).
Against Nativists who said Catholics destroy the spirit of liberty, McGee argued that it was the Catholic respect for authority that could save the good in the American Republic from the corruption of demagoguery and agnosticism.
The book offers background the contributions of nativists to immigration law up to 1924 and on the Mexican restriction debates from 1924 to 1930, then looks at the actions and motivations of policymakers in all three branches of the US government and the executive branch of the Mexican government.