Definition of nativism in English:



mass noun
  • 1The theory that concepts, mental capacities, and mental structures are innate rather than acquired by learning.

    • ‘He initiates the central skirmish of this book by tracing a dividing line between Chomsky's nativism and the so-called New Synthesis Psychology.’
    • ‘But history leads me to agree with the author that nativism and racism are powerful populist impulses pretty much everywhere.’
  • 2US The policy of protecting the interests of native-born or established inhabitants against those of immigrants.

    ‘a deep vein of xenophobia and nativism’
    • ‘Several of his works advocated nativism and eugenics.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It will have its own peculiar national character, utilizing Christian fundamentalism as well as racism and nativism.’
    • ‘As a result, supporters of the national ideal had to turn toward the seemingly secure foundations of biological and cultural notions of nativism: race and character.’
    • ‘Her nativism became apparent in Greece when she wrote how happy she was to leave ‘the half-civilized races behind and enter Europe.’’
    • ‘Nineteenth-century common-school advocates combined a desire for creating a liberal democratic citizenry with xenophobia, anti-Catholicism, and nativism.’
    • ‘But one can make a distinction between nativism, which is based on resentment, and patriotism, which is based on love.’
  • 3A return to or emphasis on indigenous customs, in opposition to outside influences.

    • ‘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.’