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From multicultural +‎ -ism.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˌmʌltɪˈkʌltʃəɹəˌlɪz(ə)m/


multiculturalism (countable and uncountable, plural multiculturalisms)

  1. The characteristics of a society, city etc. which has many different ethnic or national cultures mingling freely; political or social policies which support or encourage such coexistence. [from 20th c.]
    • 1991 April 8, Barbara Ehrenreich, “Essay: Teach Diversity -- with a Smile”, in Time:
      Something had to replace the threat of communism, and at last a workable substitute is at hand. "Multiculturalism," as the new menace is known, has been denounced in the media recently as the new McCarthyism, the new fundamentalism, even the new totalitarianism -- take your choice.
    • 2005 August 3, David Davis MP, Daily Telegraph:
      Britain has pursued a policy of multiculturalism - allowing people of different cultures to settle without expecting them to integrate into society.
    • 2011 April 7, “On a mat and a prayer”, in The Economist:
      Earlier this year he said multiculturalism had “failed”, that immigrants needed to “melt” into French society, and that “we do not want ostentatious prayers in the street in France.”

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