Hobbes·​ian ˈhäb-zē-ən How to pronounce Hobbesian (audio)
: of or relating to the English philosopher Thomas Hobbes or Hobbism

Examples of Hobbesian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But Dot and her family suggest that life isn’t always a Hobbesian struggle between the weak and the strong. Keith Phipps, Vulture, 16 Jan. 2024 The series features epic wars among clans of feral cats who inhabit a Hobbesian world. Simon Montlake, The Christian Science Monitor, 9 Apr. 2024 These early thinkers fought to make Hobbesian authoritarianism impossible by establishing the rule of law and constitutionally limited government, with safeguards in place to protect individual freedoms. Helena Rosenblatt, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 The enemies of the unnatural liberal order that the Western world carved out of the tribal wilderness are united in their effort to thrust us back into the Hobbesian state of nature. Daniel Foster, National Review, 30 Nov. 2023 To this day, Libya remains trapped in a Hobbesian hell of internecine warfare and lawlessness. Max Boot, Foreign Affairs, 10 Mar. 2023 Throughout much of the 17th century, the Hobbesian view seemed to be on the winning side of history. Joseph Loconte, National Review, 2 Apr. 2022 There’s also a genuine attempt to explore the traditional tropes of the apocalyptic setting, like the descent into Hobbesian sadism. Will Bedingfield, WIRED, 12 Jan. 2023 There are extremely suboptimal futures in which our species straggles onward in a brutish, Hobbesian nightmare — back to the Stone Age. Joel Achenbach, Washington Post, 7 Nov. 2022

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'Hobbesian.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1776, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of Hobbesian was in 1776

Dictionary Entries Near Hobbesian

Cite this Entry

“Hobbesian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/Hobbesian. Accessed 20 Jun. 2024.

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