Definition of Balkanize in English:


(British Balkanise)


[with object]
  • Divide (a region or body) into smaller mutually hostile states or groups.

    ‘ambitious neighbours would snatch pieces of territory, Balkanizing the country’
    as adjective Balkanized ‘the balkanized world of the Senate Banking Committee’
    • ‘Meanwhile this often Balkanised city has been united by the Lakers' triumph.’
    • ‘But they also Balkanised the research, dividing it up into many different journals, most of which charge for access.’
    • ‘Preferential agreements are creating ‘a series of islands or island economic units’ and there is a risk of ‘further Balkanising the global economy.’’
    • ‘All this separation by age, gender, equipment, and location is Balkanizing the sport.’
    • ‘Chat-room frequenters have developed Balkanized languages that ‘employ a series of abbreviations salient to each particular area, ‘says Mr. Morrisette.’
    • ‘Once we understand ‘the city’ as a whole city, then neighborhoods become neighborhoods, not Balkanized states.’
    • ‘It is Balkanized along state laws that end up protecting the monopoly utilities.’
    • ‘Each book, however, provides an antidote to the compartmentalized, Balkanized state of public discussion and academic research.’
    • ‘Also, the complexity of the subject, involving such disparate matters as mechanics and neurobiology, has Balkanized it.’
    • ‘Companies without a long tradition of commonization are Balkanized.’
    • ‘They are increasingly Balkanised and revolve around personalities and ancient regional and union disputes rather than differences in philosophy.’
    • ‘As politicians and pundits howled, the criminal justice system was Balkanised and neglected.’
    • ‘It is also well to keep in mind that it is in the interest not only of Indonesia, but for the stability of the entire Asia-Pacific region to keep this country from becoming Balkanized.’
    • ‘The enemy thrives on that restraint, and there is no glory for a nation that gets Balkanized while on a diet of restraint.’
    • ‘Our country is becoming more Balkanized around these issues and these products.’
    • ‘It seems to me things have become more and more Balkanized.’
    • ‘As rock 'n' roll gets more and more Balkanized over the years, fewer bands appeal widely across clubhouses.’
    • ‘As soon as people can vote, China will Balkanize and become many smaller countries.’
    • ‘If the south does not catch up with the north, we run the risk of splitting the country, of a Balkanized Mexico.’
    • ‘Equipment providers will end their Balkanizing ways.’


1920s from Balkan Peninsula (where this was done in the late 19th and early 20th centuries) + -ize.



/ˈbɔːlkənʌɪz/ /ˈbɒlkənʌɪz/