The noun secession refers to a big break-up — a formal split, an official “Good-bye to you!” — among political entities. If France has really, truly had it with the European Union, then a French secession movement may be in order.

  • Pronunciation: /sɪ'sɛʃən/
  • English description: formal separation from an alliance or federation
  • Synonyms: withdrawal
  • Chinese Translation:  脱离(tuo1 li2)
  • Spanish Translation: la secesión
  • ORIGIN: You could think of secession as a kind of divorce for governments, an official and often lasting split between an alliance, federation, or other political group. Secession is the noun version of the verb secede(meaning to withdraw from an organization), and when a secession takes place the group doing the seceding makes a formal departure from the original group. A famous example of political secession happened right before the American Civil War, when eleven southern states withdrew from the U.S. government over the issue of slavery.


  • Independence parties in the northeastern region hope the resolution will lead to ­secession within 18 months.
  • Most polls show Catalans would like a secession referendum but are evenly divided over independence.

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