at·​om·​ism | \ ˈa-tə-ˌmi-zəm How to pronounce atomism (audio) \

Definition of atomism

1 : a doctrine that the physical or physical and mental universe is composed of simple indivisible minute particles

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Other Words from atomism

atomist \ ˈa-​tə-​mist How to pronounce atomism (audio) \ noun

Examples of atomism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web According to Vaisesika atomism, the four elements (earth, water, air, and fire) each come in two variations: atomic—that is, invisible, indivisible, and indestructible; and composite—that is, visible and perceptible. Priyamvada Natarajan, The New York Review of Books, 15 June 2021 This recognition suggests the importance not of atomism but of community and ethical commitment for the development and sustaining of these liberties. Fred Bauer, National Review, 12 Oct. 2020 Moreover, as Alexis de Tocqueville saw, that daily participation in local governance can help ward off the tendencies toward atomism and technocracy to which modern democracy is susceptible. Fred Bauer, National Review, 28 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'atomism.' 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 atomism

1678, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for atomism

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The first known use of atomism was in 1678

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Cite this Entry

“Atomism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Oct. 2021.

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More Definitions for atomism


at·​om·​ism | \ ˈat-ə-ˌmiz-əm How to pronounce atomism (audio) \

Medical Definition of atomism

1 : a doctrine that the universe is composed of simple indivisible minute particles
2 : a psychological doctrine that perceptions, thoughts, and all mental processes are built up by the combination of simple elements

More from Merriam-Webster on atomism

Britannica English: Translation of atomism for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about atomism


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