Definition of Balkanize in English:



  • Divide (a region or body) into smaller mutually hostile states or groups.

    • ‘Preferential agreements are creating ‘a series of islands or island economic units’ and there is a risk of ‘further Balkanising the global economy.’’
    • ‘Each book, however, provides an antidote to the compartmentalized, Balkanized state of public discussion and academic research.’
    • ‘They are increasingly Balkanised and revolve around personalities and ancient regional and union disputes rather than differences in philosophy.’
    • ‘It seems to me things have become more and more Balkanized.’
    • ‘Chat-room frequenters have developed Balkanized languages that ‘employ a series of abbreviations salient to each particular area, ‘says Mr. Morrisette.’
    • ‘Our country is becoming more Balkanized around these issues and these products.’
    • ‘If the south does not catch up with the north, we run the risk of splitting the country, of a Balkanized Mexico.’
    • ‘It is Balkanized along state laws that end up protecting the monopoly utilities.’
    • ‘As soon as people can vote, China will Balkanize and become many smaller countries.’
    • ‘Once we understand ‘the city’ as a whole city, then neighborhoods become neighborhoods, not Balkanized states.’
    • ‘As politicians and pundits howled, the criminal justice system was Balkanised and neglected.’
    • ‘Meanwhile this often Balkanised city has been united by the Lakers' triumph.’
    • ‘The enemy thrives on that restraint, and there is no glory for a nation that gets Balkanized while on a diet of restraint.’
    • ‘Companies without a long tradition of commonization are Balkanized.’
    • ‘All this separation by age, gender, equipment, and location is Balkanizing the sport.’
    • ‘But they also Balkanised the research, dividing it up into many different journals, most of which charge for access.’
    • ‘As rock 'n' roll gets more and more Balkanized over the years, fewer bands appeal widely across clubhouses.’
    • ‘Also, the complexity of the subject, involving such disparate matters as mechanics and neurobiology, has Balkanized it.’
    • ‘Equipment providers will end their Balkanizing ways.’
    • ‘It is also well to keep in mind that it is in the interest not only of Indonesia, but for the stability of the entire Asia-Pacific region to keep this country from becoming Balkanized.’


1920s: from Balkan Peninsula (where this was done in the late 19th and early 20th century) + -ize.