- (in the Republic of South Africa) a rigid former policy of segregating and economically and politically oppressing the nonwhite population.
- any system or practice that separates people according to color, ethnicity, caste, etc.
- opposed to apartheidthe anti-apartheid movement
- (in South Africa) the official government policy of racial segregation; officially renounced in 1992
1947 (policy begun 1948), from Afrikaans apartheid (1929 in a South African socio-political context), literally “separateness,” from Dutch apart “separate” (from French àpart; see ) + suffix -heid, cognate of English . The official English synonym was separate development (1955).
“Segregation” is such an active word that it suggests someone is trying to segregate someone else. So the word “apartheid” was introduced. Now it has such a stench in the nostrils of the world, they are referring to “autogenous development.” [Alan Paton, “New York Times,” Oct. 24, 1960]
The racist policy (see ) of that long denied blacks and other nonwhites civic, social, and economic equality with whites. It was dismantled during the 1990s. (See Nelson .)