es·cap·ism | \ i-ˈskā-ˌpi-zəm \

Definition of escapism 

: habitual diversion of the mind to purely imaginative activity or entertainment as an escape from reality or routine

Keep scrolling for more

Other words from escapism

escapist \-pist \ adjective or noun

Examples of escapism in a Sentence

Reading romantic novels is for her a form of escapism.

Recent Examples on the Web

The challenge now is to find ways to resist royalist escapism and instead to recommit to the radical majesty of the egalitarian project, re-enchanting the everyday. Heather Souvaine Horn, The New Republic, "Donald Trump, Meghan Markle, and America’s enduring obsession with the British royals," 12 July 2018 Certainly escapism and great times could be found daily through practically every style of music known to man. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Summerfest 2018 recap: The best and worst moments from the world's largest music festival," 9 July 2018 For as big and loud of a presence that Coachella is, the three-day blowout is ultimately about escapism (with a heavy heaping of surprises primed for social media posting). Gerrick D. Kennedy,, "Coachella's viral yodeling boy moment is just the start of the festival's latest makeover," 14 Apr. 2018 But there is a side of music and all art that is about escapism and joy. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Justin Tranter on the Parkland Students & March for Our Lives: 'We Owe These Kids Everything'," 23 Mar. 2018 And that was only the beginning of a series of gowns serving as the ultimate form of fashion escapism. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "The Gowns At Valentino's Couture Show Will Take Your Breath Away," 5 July 2018 As the world shrinks, more people of every background are losing themselves, via the hottest new escapisms, in foreign dialects and cultures. Jason Kehe, WIRED, "The Real Reason You Use Closed Captions for Everything Now," 26 June 2018 Which may be why my very first purchase on Amazon involved some Renaissance lit... and some sheer escapism. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "How to review your life’s Amazon buying history—and what we learned from our own," 28 May 2018 Kids expect the fest to be a space where they're awed by immersive escapism. Gerrick D. Kennedy,, "Experiential events, posh yurts and uber-VIP — will Coachella stand for anything more than its escapism this year?," 12 Apr. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'escapism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of escapism

1933, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about escapism

Statistics for escapism

Last Updated

3 Sep 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for escapism

The first known use of escapism was in 1933

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for escapism



English Language Learners Definition of escapism

: an activity or form of entertainment that allows people to forget about the real problems of life


es·cap·ism | \ is-ˈkā-ˌpiz-əm \

Medical Definition of escapism 

: habitual diversion of the mind to purely imaginative activity or entertainment as an escape from reality or routine

Other words from escapism

escapist \-pəst \ adjective or noun

More from Merriam-Webster on escapism

Spanish Central: Translation of escapism

Comments on escapism

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


the setting in which something occurs

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Musical Words Quiz

  • gramophone
  • Which word describes a musical performance marked by the absence of instrumental accompaniment?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!