du·​al·​ism | \ˈdü-ə-ˌli-zəm also ˈdyü- \

Definition of dualism 

1 : a theory that considers reality to consist of two irreducible elements or modes

2 : the quality or state of being dual or of having a dual nature

3a : a doctrine that the universe is under the dominion of two opposing principles one of which is good and the other evil

b : a view of human beings as constituted of two irreducible elements (such as matter and spirit)

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Other Words from dualism

dualist \ -​list \ noun
dualistic \ ˌdü-​ə-​ˈlis-​tik , ˌdyü-​ \ adjective
dualistically \ -​ti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Examples of dualism in a Sentence

the dualism of human nature the dualism of good and evil

Recent Examples on the Web

Unfortunately, the book’s own divisions between body versus brain, and nature versus nurture, reinforce the very dualisms that Jasanoff indicts. Lisa Feldman Barrett, New York Times, "How Elastic Is Your Brain?," 25 June 2018 The exhibition’s lineup includes Theo Chin, Anneli Goeller, Jillian Musielak and Amanda VanValkenburg; each arrive in the space with practices already textured with dualism. Kt Hawbaker, chicagotribune.com, "Crossing the Paseo and the globe in one historic exhibition; New A/V gallery plugs into a two-part show," 13 Dec. 2017 The philosophy teaches non-dualism, the idea that there are no substantial differences between individual elements of the physical and spiritual worlds. National Geographic, "Beyond Yoga: Explore Life Inside a Hindu Spiritual Center," 8 July 2016

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

1794, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for dualism

The first known use of dualism was in 1794

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English Language Learners Definition of dualism

philosophy : the idea or belief that everything has two opposite parts or principles

: the quality or state of having two different or opposite parts or elements


du·​al·​ism | \ˈd(y)ü-ə-ˌliz-əm \

Medical Definition of dualism 

1 : a theory that considers reality to consist of two irreducible elements or modes (as mind and matter)

2 : a theory in hematology holding that the blood cells arise from two kinds of stem cells one of which yields lymphatic elements and the other myeloid elements

Other Words from dualism

dualist \ -​ə-​ləst \ noun
dualistic \ ˌd(y)ü-​ə-​ˈlis-​tik \ adjective

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Comments on dualism

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a private place of worship

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