Definition of territorialism in US English:



  • 1A system which gives predominance to the landed class; landlordism. Now historical and rare.

  • 2A theory of Church government according to which supreme ecclesiastical authority is vested in the civil power.

  • 3Association with a particular geographical area; loyalty to or defence of one's own territory or region, especially as considered more important than the larger nation, state, etc., of which it is a part.

  • 4Scottish. The organization of church work on territorial lines; the delineation of particular areas of a parish for independent mission work in the Church of Scotland. See "territorial". Now historical and rare.

  • 5The organization of the Army on a territorial or local basis. See "territorial". Now rare.

  • 6Chiefly with capital initial. A Jewish movement aiming to secure an autonomous territory for the Jews in any suitable and available part of the world; the beliefs or doctrine of this movement. Now historical.

  • 7Zoology= "territoriality".

  • 8Human behaviour characterized by aggressive defence of a particular area, sphere of activity or influence, etc.; possessiveness.


Early 19th century. From territorial + -ism.