Definition of peculiar institution in US English:

peculiar institution


  • Used in the 19th century to refer to the system of slavery in the southern states of the US.

    • ‘Transgressors of this peculiar institution were dealt to severely.’
    • ‘Just ‘a tiny minority of white Americans ever owned slaves,’ and most Americans have no connection to that peculiar institution, he argued.’
    • ‘The slaves’ increased resistance to the regime ultimately caused elite women to question the peculiar institution.’
    • ‘What pushed Lincoln was the insistence of the Southern States that they be allowed to expand and solidify their peculiar institution.’
    • ‘Younger generations of southern blacks and whites will have difficulty understanding this peculiar era that followed the peculiar institution of slavery, but they should try.’