ab·​surd·​ism əb-ˈsər-ˌdi-zəm How to pronounce absurdism (audio) -ˈzər- How to pronounce absurdism (audio)
: 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 The setup is familiar, but the film is wry, vivid and moving in unexpected ways — a testament to Jacobs’ singular touch, his gently eccentric blend of comic absurdism and emotional generosity. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 19 Sep. 2023 Some of this rather strongly recalls the depressive absurdism and cracked ambition of Charlie Kaufman, another filmmaker unshy about mining his own dysfunction for deranged laughs. A.a. Dowd, Chron, 20 Apr. 2023 His absurdism was retweeted into my feed nearly every day. Longreads, 14 Apr. 2023 The postwar celebratory mood was shadowed by disillusionment and absurdism. David Denby, The New Yorker, 19 Dec. 2022 The second has absurdism. Michael Ordoña, Los Angeles Times, 21 Feb. 2021 This is the kind of comedy where the big school rivalry climactically resolves with literal casualties (which the characters shrug off, naturally—a prime example of its go-for-broke absurdism). A.a. Dowd, Chron, 12 Mar. 2023 The city’s avant-garde theater and dance scene regularly influences his work, in particular shows by the contemporary dance troupe Ultima Vez and the performance artists Diederik Peeters and Miet Warlop, both of whom fuse elements of horror and absurdism in their practices. New York Times, 24 Nov. 2021 Theirs is a world of absurdism and extremes, but one which the filmmaking duo is determined to approach with an open mind. Christopher Vourlias, Variety, 24 Mar. 2022 See More

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

Word History


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

First Known Use

1946, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of absurdism was in 1946

Dictionary Entries Near absurdism

Cite this Entry

“Absurdism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/absurdism. Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

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