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

  • n. Exclusive adherence to, dedication to, or interest in one's own group, party, sect, or nation.
  • n. A principle of allowing each state in a nation or federation to act independently of the central authority, especially in promoting its own economic interests.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The principle that only certain people are chosen by God for salvation.
  • n. An exclusive focus on a particular group, area, sect etc.
  • n. The principle that individual states, races of a federation etc. may act independently of a central authority.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A minute description; a detailed statement.
  • n. The doctrine of particular election.
  • n. Devotion to the interests of one's own kingdom or province rather than to those of the empire.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Attention or adherence to or exclusive interest in one's own special interests, party, or state; individual, partizan, or national exclusiveness.
  • n. Attention to particulars or details.
  • n. In theology, the doctrine that divine grace is provided only for the particular individuals chosen by God to be its recipients, as opposed to the doctrine that his grace is freely and equally offered to all upon condition of its acceptance in and by faith.

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

  • n. a focus on something particular


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From particular +‎ -ism, after French particularisme.


  • Universalism vs particularism is an academic debate for people who are bored with masturbating.

    Matthew Yglesias » Universalism and Particularism in Neoconservatism

  • French-Canadian particularism is only the most dramatic expression of a particularisin that afflicts the whole of our country.

    What is Canada?

  • This, and not French-Canadian particularism, is at the root of our present difficulties.

    What is Canada?

  • Webster ceased to be a particularist after 1824 and became a nationalist before 1830, it was because the interests of New England had undergone a similar change; or, if Calhoun deserted about the same time the cause of nationalism and became the most ardent of sectionalists, it was also because the interests of his constituents, the cotton and tobacco planters of the South, had become identified with particularism, that is, States rights.

    Expansion and Conflict

  • Lamott is cited as a writer who captures well the style of narrative nonfiction called "particularism", coined by Howard Freeman.

    Anne Lamott biography

  • It was only in Franconia that all territorial patriotism or "particularism" was shaken off and the idea of the unity of the German peoples received as a political goal.

    German Culture Past and Present

  • State; that the State alone could represent the bonds of union between its subjects; that federalism and "particularism" were the enemies of progress, and the State was the only proper initiator of further development.

    Mutual Aid; a factor of evolution

  • The so-called "particularism" of Israel's idea of God was in fact the real strength of Israel's religion; it thus escaped from barren mythologisings, and became free to apply itself to the moral tasks which are always given, and admit of being discharged, only in definite spheres.


  • But it makes a most interesting pair to English as an instance of vigorous and genuine national literary development; while, if it is inferior to English, as showing that fatal departmental or provincial separation, that "particularism" which has in many ways been so disastrous to the Peninsula, it once more, by virtue of the _Poema_, far excels our own production of the period in positive achievement, and foretells the masterpieces of the national poetry in a way very different from any that can be said to be shown in Layamon or the

    The Flourishing of Romance and the Rise of Allegory (Periods of European Literature, vol. II)

  • 'particularism' that likes to make out that we are so unique that we cannot be compared with anyone else at all.

    SARA - Southeast Asian RSS Aggregator


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  • In moral philosophy, the doctrine that success involves 'getting it right' case by case, rather than through the application of general rules: associated particularly with Jonathan Dancy, author of 'Ethics Without Principles'.

    October 21, 2007