ac·​a·​dem·​i·​cism | \ ˌa-kə-ˈde-mə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce academicism (audio) \
variants: or less commonly academism \ ə-​ˈka-​də-​ˌmi-​zəm How to pronounce academism (audio) \

Definition of academicism

1 : the doctrines of Plato's Academy specifically : the skeptical doctrines of the later Academy holding that nothing can be known — compare pyrrhonism
2 : a formal academic quality (as in art or music)
3 : purely speculative thoughts and attitudes

Examples of academicism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But three paintings from after 1900 stand out for their size and ambition, if also their increasing academicism. Roberta Smith, New York Times, "When He Was Good, He Was Breathtaking," 6 Jan. 2020

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

First Known Use of academicism

1610, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for academicism

academic entry 1 or academy + -ism

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about academicism

Time Traveler for academicism

Time Traveler

The first known use of academicism was in 1610

See more words from the same year

Statistics for academicism

Last Updated

19 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Academicism.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 25 January 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on academicism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with academicism

Nglish: Translation of academicism for Spanish Speakers

Comments on academicism

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


dull or mediocre

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


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!