ab·​surd·​ism | \əb-ˈsər-ˌdi-zəm, -ˈzər- \

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

Sorry to Bother You’s absurdism and energy translates into blocky, bright pink type. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "Sorry to Bother You," 12 Nov. 2018 Some jarring comic absurdism is added through the unusually obtrusive presence of Aunt March’s parrot. New York Times, "Review: ‘Little Women,’ Through British Eyes," 11 May 2018 There are hints of David Lynch's macabre absurdism here, but also some agreeably carnivalesque interludes reminiscent of Federico Fellini, Emir Kusturica and even Wes Anderson. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Volcano': Film Review | Karlovy Vary 2018," 13 July 2018 Since its formation in Idaho in 1993, Built To Spill has embraced the most robust elements of classic rock while incorporating the slacker sensibility, righteous absurdism and healthy snark of indie-rock to create an innovative new sound. Bill Brownlee, kansascity, "Break out your flannel: Built to Spill will thrill at Middle of the Map Fest," 28 June 2018 Of course, American Innovations does more than simply swapping the genders—in rewriting the stories, Galchen never parts with her keen sense of absurdism, and tinkers with convention in these dense psychological riffs on English Lit classics. Adrienne Westenfeld, Town & Country, "How Do Classic Stories Differ With a Female Point of View?," 16 May 2014 His early work was just bizarre and full of non-sequiturs and absurdism. John Wenzel, The Know, "David Letterman gets his due in “The Last Giant of Late Night”," 5 Apr. 2017 At times, Hruska and the director, Rick Lombardo, seem to reach for Beckettian absurdism, but, no, that’s just bumbling storytelling. The New Yorker, "Ring Twice for Miranda," 31 Mar. 2017 The influential 1986 series Takeshi’s Castle hit upon a mix of absurdism and cruelty that became a template for most modern TV games. Joel Warner, WIRED, "Japanese Comedy: So Funny, It Hurts," 19 Nov. 2012

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.

See More

First Known Use of absurdism

1946, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for absurdism

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about absurdism

Dictionary Entries near absurdism







Abt system

Statistics for absurdism

Last Updated

17 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for absurdism

The first known use of absurdism was in 1946

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on absurdism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with absurdism

Comments on absurdism

What made you want to look up absurdism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to enclose within walls

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Late Autumn 2018 Words of the Day Quiz

  • frosted-autumn-leaves
  • Which is a synonym of yahoo?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Dictionary Devil

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!