du·​al·​ism ˈdü-ə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce dualism (audio)
 also  ˈdyü-
: a theory that considers reality to consist of two irreducible elements or modes
: the quality or state of being dual or of having a dual nature
: a doctrine that the universe is under the dominion of two opposing principles one of which is good and the other evil
: a view of human beings as constituted of two irreducible elements (such as matter and spirit)
ˈdü-ə-list How to pronounce dualism (audio)
dualistic adjective
dualistically adverb

Examples of dualism in a Sentence

the dualism of human nature the dualism of good and evil
Recent Examples on the Web Her magically vibrant and simultaneously mournful and vulnerable painting expresses the dualism at the heart of her vision — and perhaps at the heart of existence itself. Washington Post, 22 Feb. 2024 When personal and professional growth is viewed with this lens, our endeavors cease to be measured by the restrictive system of dualism—failure or success. Neshica Bheem, Forbes, 21 Feb. 2024 Offsetting nearly a century of cultural dualism is not going to happen in one generation. David L. Bahnsen, National Review, 20 Jan. 2024 Death stalks Enzo and this movie, which energetically gathers momentum even as Mann busily juggles the story’s numerous parts and warring dualisms. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, 24 Dec. 2023 We are misled by an implicit mind-brain dualism that leads us astray. Neuroskeptic, Discover Magazine, 16 Sep. 2014 In a narrative with autobiographical undertones, Galimberti stages light and darkness in a dualism that addresses the contrast between opposites and the complexity of human experiences. Photovogue, Vogue, 19 Oct. 2023 The selfie is an attempt to reconcile this dualism. Meghan O'Gieblyn, WIRED, 16 Aug. 2023 Simplifying the number of parties and to see and to present the issue as dual, as a radical dualism, between one group and the other one. Foreign Affairs, 2 Nov. 2016

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'dualism.' 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

1794, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of dualism was in 1794

Dictionary Entries Near dualism

Cite this Entry

“Dualism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dualism. Accessed 14 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


du·​al·​ism ˈd(y)ü-ə-ˌliz-əm How to pronounce dualism (audio)
: a theory that considers reality to consist of two irreducible elements or modes (as mind and matter)
: 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
dualist noun
dualistic adjective

More from Merriam-Webster on dualism

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