Definition of unionist in English:



  • 1A member of a trade union.

    • ‘As unionists it is our duty to be involved in supporting people in those situations.’
    • ‘With the support of hundreds of unionists from across the movement, they preserved their right to be in the collective.’
    • ‘A major bastion of support for the policy was in fact the union movement and unionists supported it because it helped keep out cheap labour.’
    • ‘She urges academic unionists to move away from place-based approaches to organizing and embrace new ways of creating cyber-communities and worker collectivities.’
    • ‘Wives of picket line unionists were recipients of anonymous correspondence apparently aimed at driving a wedge between them and their husbands, with a view to ending the dispute in the company's favour.’
    • ‘And once again we have a community assembly of unionists, clergy and civil rights activists taking a stand on high moral ground.’
    • ‘This is the question many rank-and-file unionists often ask when their union leaderships sell their members short.’
    • ‘Among the outrageous provision are proposals that would see unionists involved in legitimate industrial action locked up as terrorists.’
    • ‘The unionists and community collectively transformed the picket.’
    • ‘The auto unionists account for the largest of the confederation members.’
    • ‘As usual, many protesters against economic globalisation in its present form will be unionists, and ALP members.’
    • ‘Firstly, as a unionist and a member of a progressive union, I fully support redeployment, but you need to consider the time factor when you deal with it.’
    • ‘And being a Communist or a unionist and stirring up the lower classes against their ‘betters’ is obviously right out.’
    • ‘It hasn't made any concessions to unionism or unionists.’
    • ‘As of this day last week, the majority of unionists withdrew that support.’
    • ‘It's hard not to reach the conclusion that many unionists have effectively given up on successfully unionising the private sector, and are therefore engaged in a desperate bid to hold onto the security of the public sector.’
    • ‘Still, the Democrats are facing a continuing battle for the support of industrial unionists.’
    • ‘Sayles' movie tells the story of the obstacles that mining companies - and unionists - in West Virginia put in the way of unionisation through dividing Black and White workers.’
    • ‘The statistics also show that women unionists are significantly better off than their non unionised sisters earning on average $119 a week more.’
    1. 1.1 An advocate or supporter of trade unions.
  • 2A person, especially a member of a Northern Ireland political party, who is in favour of the union of Northern Ireland with Great Britain.

    • ‘This has enabled hard-line Unionists to mount their wrecking operation.’
    • ‘When British troops were introduced they interned hundreds of political opponents of the Unionists without trial.’
    • ‘The relatives of the dead had fought to get a tribunal, but were also wary about it because of attacks on it by Conservatives and Unionists.’
    • ‘Outrage against the atrocity is now being used by Unionists and New Labour to push Sinn Fein into full acceptance of the police and the rule of law generally.’
    • ‘So the Unionists blame the Republicans and the Republicans blame the Unionists.’
    • ‘Nationalists and unionists are expected to be given time to examine the outline of a British-Irish deal, raising the likelihood that the May 1 elections will be extended by anything up to a month.’
    • ‘The IRA and Sinn Fein and the Unionists and all of the parties are now working together.’
    • ‘There is no groundswell in Britain for the Unionists in Northern Ireland.’
    • ‘Loyalists and Unionists tend to be Protestants, but there is such a thing as a Catholic Loyalist and a Catholic Unionist.’
    • ‘Second, it can be the ground over which two groups struggle, unionists against nationalists, and so arising from not just a phenomenological, but a political, origin.’
    • ‘The Unionists have eagerly seized on the raid to attack Sinn Fein's elected representatives in the ruling assembly.’
    • ‘Many Unionists are members of the anti-Catholic Orange Order.’
    • ‘Northern Ireland's overwhelmingly Catholic republicans want the province united with the Irish Republic, while the mostly Protestant unionists want it to remain part of the UK.’
    • ‘So at the moment those paramilitaries aren't being talked about, but it's clear that Dublin and London see this as an opportunity to get the hardline unionists and Sinn Fein together, whether or not they will.’
    • ‘In the Whitewell area an independent candidate came second to Paisley's Democratic Unionists in recent council elections.’
    • ‘Assembly members have to declare themselves Unionists or Republicans.’
    • ‘The other, held by many republicans, insists that British thinking on the North is, in fact, indistinguishable from that of hardline unionists and loyalists.’
    • ‘There was criticism that much of the legislation ‘does not help Unionists and favours non-Unionists’.’
    • ‘His seminal Rethinking Unionism, published in 1996, won praise from unionists and nationalists alike for its cutting edge idealistic conception of a new unionism.’
    • ‘The irony is that the most compelling arguments for fiscal freedom come not from Nationalists but from Unionists.’
    1. 2.1historical A member of a British political party formed in 1886 which supported maintenance of the parliamentary union between Great Britain and Ireland.
    2. 2.2 An opponent of secession during the American Civil War of 1861–5.
      • ‘His theories of nullification and state interposition offered a third path between unconditional unionists and secessionists.’
      • ‘With secession, Philadelphia's unionists believed that the very foundation of their prosperity as a class had been placed in jeopardy.’
      • ‘Virginia unionists controlled the state secession convention from its opening in February into the early days of April.’