apartheid |əˈpärtˌ(h)āt; -ˌ(h)īt|
(in South Africa) a policy or system of segregation or discrimination on grounds of race.
• segregation in other contexts : sexual apartheid.
Adopted by the successful Afrikaner National Party as a slogan in the 1948 election, apartheid extended and institutionalized existing racial segregation. Despite rioting and terrorism at home and isolation abroad from the 1960s onward, the white regime maintained the apartheid system with only minor relaxation until February 1991.
ORIGIN 1940s: Afrikaans, literally ‘separateness,’ from Dutch apart ‘separate’ + –heid (equivalent of –hood ).