clas·​si·​cism | \ ˈkla-sə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce classicism (audio) \

Definition of classicism

1a : the principles or style embodied in the literature, art, or architecture of ancient Greece and Rome
b : classical scholarship
c : a classical idiom or expression
2 : 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 Berlin was to be remade as a city of monumental classicism — the centerpiece being an enormous dome modeled on the Roman Pantheon, its design carried out by architect Albert Speer. Mark Lamster, Dallas News, "An executive order to ‘make federal buildings beautiful again’ is a needless distraction," 7 Feb. 2020 In the language of classicism, buildings relate civilly to each other, forming harmonious cities—Venice or pre-World War II London—in which the whole adds up to more than the sum of its parts, however beautiful some may be. Myron Magnet, WSJ, "Drain the Swamp of Ugly Architecture," 6 Feb. 2020 The first two concertos, premiered only four years after Mozart’s death, stretch the musical and expressive language of classicism. Scott Cantrell, Dallas News, "Five pianists, Fort Worth Symphony perform all five Beethoven piano concertos," 5 Jan. 2020 The book is interesting look at how Millenials navigate pre-existing concepts of race, classicism, micro-aggressions, and transactional relationships. Teen Vogue, "An Excerpt from Kiley Reid's "Such a Fun Age"," 10 Dec. 2019 There’s an element of classicism in some of her pieces that places her on a continuum with Mariano Fortuny. Vogue, "Golden Lady: Zandra Rhodes Celebrates 50 Years in Fashion With an Exhibition in London," 25 Sep. 2019 For all the classicism of the plays, the theater festival’s emphasis is on contemporary issues, both in terms of anti-nationalist politics and opening up the form to new artists and audiences., "Irish theater wasn’t coming here, so I went there. Here’s why you should go, too. - The Boston Globe," 18 Sep. 2019 Lined in soft leather, the Corsair’s cabin evokes a modern classicism, up to date yet timeless. Tribune News Service, cleveland, "A stunning new compact SUV from Lincoln: the 2020 Lincoln Corsair (auto review)," 9 Nov. 2019 The high-fashion aesthetic of the brand translates through its prestige packaging, which is inspired by 17th century classicism and French glassmaking. Maya Allen, Marie Claire, "Celine's First-Ever Fragrance Collection Is Finally Here," 4 Nov. 2019

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

1827, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of classicism was in 1827

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Last Updated

20 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Classicism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce classicism (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of classicism

: the ideas and styles that are common in the literature, art, and architecture of ancient Greece and Rome
: a traditional style of art, literature, music, architecture, etc., that is usually graceful and simple with parts that are organized in a pleasing way

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Spanish Central: Translation of classicism

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