du·​al·​ism | \ ˈdü-ə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce dualism (audio) 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 \ ˈdü-​ə-​list How to pronounce dualist (audio) , ˈdyü-​ \ noun
dualistic \ ˌdü-​ə-​ˈli-​stik How to pronounce dualistic (audio) , ˌdyü-​ \ adjective
dualistically \ ˌdü-​ə-​ˈli-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce dualistically (audio) , ˌdyü-​ \ adverb

Examples of dualism in a Sentence

the dualism of human nature the dualism of good and evil
Recent Examples on the Web At the heart of this dualism was the contrast of light and substance, a theme that has fascinated not only scientists but artists and mystics for many centuries. Quanta Magazine, "Inside the Knotty World of ‘Anyon’ Particles," 28 Feb. 2017 The next morning, however, Shainberg briefly achieved transcendence from the questions that usually plagued him—questions to do with desire, and mind-body dualism, and why his brain wouldn’t shut up. Christopher Tayler, Harper's magazine, "New Books," 24 June 2019 Prior to the emergence of quantum mechanics, fundamental physics was marked by a peculiar dualism. Quanta Magazine, "Inside the Knotty World of ‘Anyon’ Particles," 28 Feb. 2017 Slow is not the opposite of fast—there is no dualism—but a different approach in which designers, buyers, retailers, and consumers are more aware of the impacts of products on workers, communities, and ecosystems. Emily Farra, Vogue, "4 Ways the CFDA’s New Sustainability Report Will Change Your Fashion Week Conversations," 16 Jan. 2019 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

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The first known use of dualism was in 1794

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Cite this Entry

“Dualism.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/dualism. Accessed 19 January 2020.

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How to pronounce dualism (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of dualism

philosophy : the idea or belief that everything has two opposite parts or principles
formal : the quality or state of having two different or opposite parts or elements


du·​al·​ism | \ ˈd(y)ü-ə-ˌliz-əm How to pronounce dualism (audio) \

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 How to pronounce dualist (audio) \ noun
dualistic \ ˌd(y)ü-​ə-​ˈlis-​tik How to pronounce dualistic (audio) \ adjective

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More from Merriam-Webster on dualism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with dualism

Spanish Central: Translation of dualism

Nglish: Translation of dualism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of dualism for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about dualism

Comments on dualism

What made you want to look up dualism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to insert between existing elements

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