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

Sure, Grace Kelly’s gowns or Audrey Hepburn’s pearls may inspire viewers to elegance, but can all that classicism compete with John Travolta in a loin cloth? Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "The 20 Campiest Movie Costumes of All Time," 23 Apr. 2019 Delvaux stands for a certain classicism and chicness, and historically was quite a bourgeois house. Mark Holgate, Vogue, "Delvaux, Bastion of Belgian Chic, is Collaborating With The Legendary Renegade Parisian Designer Jean Colonna," 29 Mar. 2019 This leading period-instrument orchestra delivers classicism in all its glory in this concert, which includes two of Mozart’s finest piano concertos led and played by the fortepianist Kristian Bezuidenhout — the No. David Allen, New York Times, "5 Classical Music Concerts to See in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 17 May 2018 Meanwhile, Amal Clooney opted for refined classicism in J. Mendel’s neo-Grecian micro plissé dress, and Saoirse Ronan (in Gucci) and Laura Harrier (in Marc Jacobs) proved the power of the über ruffle at night. Edward Barsamian, Vogue, "10 Best Dressed: Week of December 10, 2018," 10 Dec. 2018 To compliment this mix of classicism and futurism, Peter Philips, the new creative and image director of Dior Makeup, kept the beauty look minimal—with the exception of the eye. Meg Storm, Town & Country, "The Dior Couture Eyeliner Stickers Have Arrived," 1 Dec. 2014 From Paris to the World Denver Art Museum Through March 3, 2019 Femininity cosseted in classicism, ardently cultured; marketing and licensing newly and aggressively global—in Dior’s hands the couture house was suddenly an expression of empire. WSJ, "‘Dior: From Paris to the World’ Review: Timelessly Elegant, Yet Avant-Garde," 27 Nov. 2018 The wide selection of Nadelman items alone — perhaps the peak of Kirstein’s often erratic taste in the visual arts — is worth the visit to this gathering: modernism meets primitivism meets classicism. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "Review: ‘Transmissions’ Evokes a Climate (Poetic, With a Chance of Ballet)," 26 Mar. 2018 Kalmar and friends did a slam-bang job of it before turning to the charming and gracious classicism of Haydn’s Symphony No. John Von Rhein,, "Grant Park Music Festival opens with a choral blockbuster under friendly skies," 14 June 2018

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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Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

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The first known use of classicism was in 1827

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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

Nglish: Translation of classicism for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about classicism

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