ab·​surd·​ism | \ əb-ˈsər-ˌdi-zəm How to pronounce absurdism (audio) , -ˈzər- How to pronounce absurdism (audio) \

Definition of absurdism

: a philosophy based on the belief that the universe is irrational and meaningless and that the search for order brings the individual into conflict with the universe — compare existentialism

Examples of absurdism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ghostface has a knack for emotional honesty and upbeat absurdism that’s matched by Raekwon’s sterner, harsher mafioso tales. Craig Jenkins, Vulture, "All the Verzuz Battles, Ranked," 7 Apr. 2021 As an extra touch of morbid absurdism, if enough people text in support of a pardon, and Mona in fact absolves, the show’s sponsors will pay the blood money. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, "Review: Reality TV, Iranian-style, in ‘Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness’," 10 Dec. 2020 The filmmakers pursue and film these officers, seeking interviews that, for the most part, highlight the tragic absurdism of authoritarian menace. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "“Red Squad”: An Investigation of the N.Y.P.D.’s Crackdown on Dissent, Fifty Years Ago," 26 Oct. 2020 His trademark irreverence and his devil-may-care American absurdism may guarantee that his work—after staying fresh for decades—continues to be so for centuries, or at least as long as there are other cartoonists around to appreciate and savor it. Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker, "Milt Gross: A Cartoonist’s Cartoonist," 8 Oct. 2020 Baker employs a similarly light touch with the absurdism that comes preloaded on speculative fiction. Melissa Holbrook Pierson, Washington Post, "In Matthew Baker’s ‘Why Visit America,’ the U.S. is an absurd place, but also full of hope," 13 Aug. 2020 The auteurs of Herz’s generation made audacious films that mix absurdism and the grotesque in oblique allegories of life under totalitarianism. Jeremy Lybarger, The New York Review of Books, "The Mordant Fables of Juraj Herz," 20 Apr. 2020 Quentin Dupieux’s glum absurdist fable gives absurdism a bad name. Joe Morgenstern, WSJ, "‘Deerskin’ Review: The Jacket Makes the Man," 30 Apr. 2020 Imagine a Roald Dahl-type story of clever children circumventing monstrous adults, wrapped in a gothic tone of morbid absurdism not unlike Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, "'The Willoughbys': Film Review," 23 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'absurdism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of absurdism

1946, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for absurdism

absurd entry 1 + -ism (probably after French absurdisme)

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Time Traveler for absurdism

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The first known use of absurdism was in 1946

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Statistics for absurdism

Last Updated

13 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Absurdism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/absurdism. Accessed 16 Apr. 2021.

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