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From Latin secedere, from se- (apart) + cedere (to go).


  • IPA(key): /sɪˈsiːd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -iːd


secede (third-person singular simple present secedes, present participle seceding, simple past and past participle seceded)

  1. (intransitive) To split from or to withdraw from membership of a political union, an alliance or an organisation.
  2. (transitive, uncommon) To split or to withdraw one or more constituent entities from membership of a political union, an alliance or an organisation.
    • 2002, Darryl E. Brock, “José Agustín Quintero: Cuban Patriot in Confederate Diplomatic Service”, in Cubans in the Confederacy: José Agustín Quintero, Ambrosio José Gonzales, and Loreta Janeta Velazquez, Ed. Phillip Thomas Tucker, publ. McFarland, →ISBN, page 103:
      At the same time, Nolan also secretly contracted with the crafty United States Army general James Wilkinson to organize some men to secede Texas from Spanish America.
    • 2018, “The Latest: Europe arrest warrants for 6 Catalan separatists”, in ABC News[1], The Associated Press:
      A Spanish Supreme Court probe into last year's attempt to secede Catalonia from Spain wraps up Friday with the judge expected to charge 28 regional politicians and separatist leaders with offenses that may include rebellion.

Usage notes[edit]

  • For political entities, the term secede does not apply only to federal states, but also to other kinds of political unions. It is commonly used in the case of provinces seceding from a unitary state.
  • 'Secede' implies conflict, which may amount to physical conflict in the case of seceding from a political or religious entity, but which otherwise amounts to some form of disagreement at least by those who secede.
  • 'Withdrawal from membership' in the definition does not apply to an individual person who simply terminates membership in an organisation, but to a group which withdraws from membership to carry on related activities in a separate entity.

Related terms[edit]





  1. second-person singular present active imperative of sēcēdō