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antidisestablishmentarianism

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Happiness lies neither in vice nor in virtue; but in the manner we appreciate the one and the other, and the choice we make pursuant to our individual organization.
Marquis De Sade
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Pronunciation

Etymology

Said by Weekley to be first recorded in Gladstone's "Church and State", in reference to a scheme directed against the Church of England. From establishment in the sense of the ecclesiastical system established by law; the Church of England.

  • establish
    to set up, put in place, or institute (originally from the Latin stāre, to stand)
  • dis- + establish
    ending the established status of a body, in particular a church, given such status by law, such as the Church of England
  • disestablish + -ment
    the separation of church and state (specifically in this context it is the political movement of the 1860s in Britain)
  • anti- + disestablishment
    opposition to disestablishment
  • antidisestablishment + -arian
    an advocate of opposition to disestablishment (alternatively, but less likely and quite similar in meaning, "opposed to disestablishmentarians", depending on what "anti-" is taken to belong to)
  • antidisestablishmentarian + -ism
    the movement or ideology of advocates of opposition to disestablishment; the movement or ideology that opposes disestablishment (simply not wanting a separation of church and state)

Noun

Singular
antidisestablishmentarianism

Plural
-

antidisestablishmentarianism (-)
  1. A political philosophy opposed to the separation of a religious group ("church") and a government ("state"), esp. the belief held by those in 19th century England opposed to separating the Anglican church from the civil government.

Related terms

Usage notes

Atypically long, this word is sometimes employed to imply that the user has an above average intellect. ("Some techy words -- 'global thermonuclear war,' 'quadratic equation' and 'antidisestablishmentarianism' -- just sound smart." — New York Times, December 30, 2004.)

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