One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1The presence, involvement, or partnership of many countries or nationalities. rare.
2South African. An apartheid policy which regarded the population of South Africa as a number of distinct ‘nations’ which should eventually be geographically and politically separated from each other. Compare "separate development". Now historical.
3Business. The practice or policy of operating in several or many countries.
1940s; earliest use found in Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science. From multinational + -ism.
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