From the name of Nicolas Chauvin, a Napoleonic super-patriot. A term initially applied to U.S. agression in South-East Asia, it has become a useful way to describe men's efforts to subjegate half the world's population.

Chau"vin*ism (?), n. [F. chauvinisme, from Chauvin, a character represented as making grotesque and threatening displays of his attachment to his fallen chief, Napoleon I., in 1815.]

Blind and absurd devotion to a fallen leader or an obsolete cause; hence, absurdly vainglorious or exaggerated patriotism.

-- Chau"vin*ist, n. -- Chau`vin*is"tic (), a.

To have a generous belief in the greatness of one's country is not chauvinism. It is the character of the latter quality to be wildly extravagant, to be fretful and childish and silly, to resent a doubt as an insult, and to offend by its very frankness.

Prof. H. Tuttle.


© Webster 1913.

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