Etymology
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nationalist (n.)

"one devoted to his nation," 1715, from national (adj.) in a now-otherwise-obsolete sense of "patriotic, characterized by attachment or devotion to one's own race or country or its institutions" (1711) + -ist. In 19c. Britain often particularly "one who advocates independence for a nation" (especially Ireland). Also used in theology for "one who holds to the divine election of entire nations," as distinguished from that of particular individuals (1836). Related: Nationalistic; nationalistically.

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Definitions of nationalist
1
nationalist (n.)
one who loves and defends his or her country;
Synonyms: patriot
nationalist (n.)
an advocate of national independence of or a strong national government;
2
nationalist (adj.)
devotion to the interests or culture of a particular nation including promoting the interests of one country over those of others;
nationalist aspirations
Synonyms: nationalistic
From wordnet.princeton.edu