Balkanize 1920, first used in reference to the Baltic states, on the model of what had happened in the BALKANS (Cf. Balkans); said to have been coined by English editor James Louis Garvin (1868-1947), but A.J. Toynbee (1922) credited it to "German Socialists" describing the results of the treaty of Brest-Litovsk. Either way, the reference is to the political situation in the Balkans c.1878-1913, when the European section of the Ottoman Empire split up into small, warring nations. Balkanized and Balkanization both also are from 1920.

Etymology dictionary. 2014.

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  • balkanize — alkanize v. 1. to divide a territory into small, hostile states. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • balkanize — (Amer.) Bal·kan·ize || bɔːlkÉ™naɪz v. partition an area or territory into many small states that are frequently engaged in hostilities against one another (also balkanise) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Balkanize — (also Balkanise) ► VERB ▪ divide (a region or body) into smaller mutually hostile states or groups. DERIVATIVES Balkanization noun …   English terms dictionary

  • Balkanize — [bôl′kən īz΄] vt., vi. Balkanized, Balkanizing [often b ] to break up into small, mutually hostile political units, as the Balkans after WWI Balkanization n …   English World dictionary

  • Balkanize — Balkanization, n. Balkanism, n. /bawl keuh nuyz /, v.t., Balkanized, Balkanizing. 1. to divide (a country, territory, etc.) into small, quarrelsome, ineffectual states. 2. (often l.c.) to divide (groups, areas, etc.) into contending and usually… …   Universalium

  • balkanize — transitive verb ( ized; izing) Usage: often capitalized Etymology: Balkan Peninsula Date: 1919 1. to break up (as a region or group) into smaller and often hostile units 2. divide, compartmentalize < now pop culture has been balkanized; it …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Balkanize — verb To break up into small, mutually hostile political units. See Also: Balkan, Balkanization, Balkanisation, The Balkans, The Balkan States …   Wiktionary

  • Balkanize — or Balkanise bɔ:lkənʌɪz, bɒl verb divide (a region or body) into smaller mutually hostile states or groups. Derivatives Balkanization zeɪʃ(ə)n noun Origin 1920s: from the Balkan Peninsula (where this was done in the late 19th and early 20th… …   English new terms dictionary

  • balkanize — bal·kan·ize …   English syllables

  • Balkanize — Bal•kan•ize [[t]ˈbɔl kəˌnaɪz[/t]] v. t. ized, iz•ing gov to divide (a country, territory, etc.) into small, often quarrelsome states • Etymology: 1915–20 Bal kan•i•za′tion, n …   From formal English to slang

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