clas·​si·​cism ˈkla-sə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce classicism (audio)
: the principles or style embodied in the literature, art, or architecture of ancient Greece and Rome
: classical scholarship
: a classical idiom or expression
: adherence to traditional standards (as of simplicity, restraint, and proportion) that are universally and enduringly valid

Examples of classicism in a Sentence

a return to classicism in modern architecture the classicism of the building
Recent Examples on the Web He’s worked on Savile Row at Kilgour and Hardy Amies and his outlook dovetails with Holloway’s contemporary classicism. Paul Croughton, Robb Report, 17 Feb. 2024 The entire Western tradition was a sequence of blindness-inducing insights, which fired the next generation to its polar opposite: Faith swings to reason, classicism to Romanticism, Athens to Jerusalem, peace to war, and back again. John Byron Kuhner, National Review, 3 Feb. 2024 Its steps are rooted in classicism with careful attention to detail, but not full of fussy details. Gia Kourlas, New York Times, 2 Feb. 2024 Behind gates and fronted by a Philadelphia cobblestone motor court, French Baroque classicism meets a glitzy brand of West Coast glamour with the Cohens’ modern-day palace that contains nine bedrooms and 10 bathrooms, plus a trio of powder rooms, within more than 16,000 square feet of living space. Mark David, Robb Report, 11 Jan. 2024 Built at a cost of $800,000, it was designed by architect William Wheeler in a style that blended Moorish, Spanish revival and Mediterranean classicism, according to San Diego’s Save Our Heritage Organisation. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Dec. 2023 The hotel, once a gentlemen's boardinghouse, is a paean to louche classicism, stocked with antiques and eclectic bric-a-brac that could have been scooped up on a European Grand Tour. Betsy Blumenthal, Condé Nast Traveler, 7 Nov. 2023 The classicism that runs through Erdem’s designs, which almost every guest wore, evoked the pictures that hung about them. Ian Malone, Vogue, 21 Sep. 2023 For Blood and Money: Billionaires, Biotech, and the Quest for a Blockbuster Drug by Nathan Vardi From Russia, with Love In her monumental new biography of Balanchine, Jennifer Homans tells the story of the choreographer whose modernist extension of classicism forever altered American dance. Michael Hofmann, The New York Review of Books, 4 May 2023 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1827, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of classicism was in 1827

Dictionary Entries Near classicism

Cite this Entry

“Classicism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


clas·​si·​cism ˈklas-ə-ˌsiz-əm How to pronounce classicism (audio)
: the principles or style of the literature, art, or architecture of ancient Greece and Rome
: a following of the standards of tradition (as in music or art)
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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