also multi-national, by 1921, "comprising or pertaining to many nations," from multi- + national. Originally with reference to states; later (by 1960) to corporations and organizations. As a noun, short for multinational corporation (itself attested by 1956), one having branches, offices, etc. in many countries, it is attested by 1971.
word-forming element meaning "many, much, multi-, one or more," from Greek polys "much" (plural polloi), from PIE root *pele- (1) "to fill," with derivatives referring to multitudinousness or abundance. Equivalent to Latin multi-, it is properly used in compounds only with words of Greek origin. In chemical names, usually indicating a compound with a large number of atoms or molecules of the same kind (such as polymer).
by 1928, in common use from 1935, originally in a European context, "racial supremacy as a doctrine, the theory that human characteristics and abilities are determined by race;" see racist, and compare the various senses in race (n.2) and racialism. Applied to American social systems from late 1930s.
This meaning of Nationalism in no sense implies any consent to the doctrine of Racism, which holds that unity of racial origin is the main principle of unity for civil society and that the members of each ethnical branch should properly aim at grouping themselves together into so many national States. Although it is desirable that strongly-felt national aspirations, which often depend on community of race, should be satisfied, as far as this may be compatible with justice, Racism or the Principle of Racial Self determination, as it has been called in recent years is a materialistic illusion contrary to natural law and destructive of civilisation. [James Strachey Barnes, "The Universal Aspects of Fascism," London, 1928]