from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun An official policy of racial segregation formerly practiced in the Republic of South Africa, involving political, legal, and economic discrimination against nonwhites.
  • noun A policy or practice of separating or segregating groups.
  • noun The condition of being separated from others; segregation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun segregation by race; -- a term used in South Africa.
  • noun the official policy of strict segregation by race practised by the government of the Union of South Africa up to 1993.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The policy of racial separation used in South Africa from 1948 to 1990.
  • noun by extension Any similar policy of racial separation.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun a social policy or racial segregation involving political and economic and legal discrimination against people who are not Whites; the former official policy in South Africa


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Afrikaans : Dutch apart, separate (from French à part, apart; see apart) + Dutch -heid, -hood.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Afrikaans apartheid (1929 in a South African socio-political context), literally “separateness”, “apartness”, from Dutch apart ("separate") + suffix -heid, cognate of English -hood.


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  • 947 Cape Times 24 Oct. 7/7 Mr. Hofmeyr said apartheid could not be reconciled with a policy of progress and prosperity for South Africa.

    June 18, 2008