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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.


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


(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.


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
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
References in periodicals archive ?
See's use of the concepts of nativism and vigilantism helps illuminate the New Brunswick crowd actions, but his discussion of racism is less convincing.
So you had a complex and disastrous network of notions of otherness, accompanied by persecution and exclusion, all of which generated the phenomenon we now know as American nativism and the many racisms that have been played out in this society.
One can wonder whether the nativism and racism now visible in Europe will reappear here.
The wellspring of American nativism that nourished Reagan has been tapped dry for a while, and at least for this we should thank the old man as he makes for the big rancho in the cielo.
It describes the efforts of organized labor and farmer rebellions; socialism, communism, and other anticapitalist movements; anarchists, militias, and other insurgents; Native American and Mexican American resistance to US sovereignty; resistance to slavery, and black nationalism; the Ku Klux Klan, fascism, and white supremacy; movements related to nativism and immigration; movements related to gender and sexuality; peace and antiwar movements; and environmentalism, environmental justice, and animal rights.
Women of two countries; German-American women, women's rights, and nativism 1848-1890.
Next, he explains nativism and the pan-Indian movement of Tecumseh and the Shawnee Prophet.
The parties of the mid-nineteenth century included such "good" movements as abolitionism, and such "bad" aspects as extreme nativism and discrimination, with both justified by religious interpretation.
That's because throughout American history, nativism has been the wellspring of anti-Catholicism.
Chicagoland was the heartland, a vast citadel of conservatism and nativism, a safe haven for American virtue and democracy under attack from the decadent denizens of both coasts, but particularly the effete elite and teeming masses of the East.
Global empire and essentialism come together in African American studies, which rejects delocalization as well as nativism.
The desire to reach this base leads to an opportunistic willingness to accentuate the positive: "If you look beyond the racism, sexism, homophobia, and nativism.