multinational (1854), multinationalism (1944), multi-ethnic (1941)

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at RCI.RUTGERS.EDU
Fri Dec 31 08:16:33 UTC 2004

multinational (OED3 1918)

1854 _New York Times_ 28 Aug. 2/2 That the multi-national life of what was
the old Roman Empire in Europe is yet in being, but now animated with a
democratic spirit, will hardly fail to strike the student of history in
its connection with sacred prophesy.

multinationalism (OED3 1964)

1944 _Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science_ 232
28/2 It is the solution of the nationality question that gives Soviet
nationalism its unique flavor. Whether it is called "multinationalism" or
"supernationalism," it differs so blatantly from czarist or western
nationalism that the very word "nationalism" seems a terminological

multi-ethnic (OED3 1943)

1941 _Annals of the American Academy of Political and Social Science_ 218
52/1 The Soviet Union, inheriting a territorial empire of many cultural
regions, has attempted to form a multi-ethnic nation on the basis of a
particular economic and social creed, through the medium of a state
organization theoretically federalized in principle but extremely
centralized in practice.

--Ben Zimmer

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