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

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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

With the collective cultural longing for escapism more palpable than ever, the runways delivered. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "The Top 9 Beauty Trends From the Spring 2019 Runways," 5 Oct. 2018 Music becomes really important escapism for both those characters, especially in their relationships with Adora. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, ""You’ll notice there are a lot of 'mama' songs!"," 29 Aug. 2018 But the authors resist pure escapism: this novel is rife with political statements. Tessa Berenson, Time, "Bill Clinton and James Patterson’s New Novel Is Worth a Read—But Not Just for the Plot," 4 June 2018 In Ready Player One, the common theme is escapism and adventure. Joi Childs, The Hollywood Reporter, "Lena Waithe Talks 'Ready Player One' and Reveals She Wants to Make a Mary Tyler Moore Biopic," 1 Apr. 2018 Their forthcoming album, remaining untitled as of now, will seek to focus on escapism, giving fans a reason to let loose instead of contemplating political happenings and stirring up discussions. Connor Whittum, Billboard, "Takeover Tuesday: Bastille's Dan Smith Shares the Artists & Songs Inspiring the Band's Next Album," 26 June 2018 And this fantasy is at the heart of the power of YA fiction: escapism. Constance Grady, Vox, "They say a preposition is something you should never end a sentence with. That’s nonsense.," 23 June 2018 Love Island's contradictory appeals are its escapism and its collectivity. Bridget Read, Vogue, "Why You Should Watch Love Island, the British Reality Dating Show With a New Episode Every Day," 6 July 2018 The movie’s romantic escapism gets just enough lift from a smart, vulnerable Diane Lane as Pearl, Viggo Mortensen’s uncomplicated seductiveness as Walker and the sincerity of Liev Schreiber as Pearl’s clueless TV repairman husband, Marty., "World premiere musical ‘Walk on the Moon’ in S.F. mostly captures spirit of 1969," 16 June 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.

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First Known Use of escapism

1933, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for escapism

Last Updated

5 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for escapism

The first known use of escapism was in 1933

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for escapism

Spanish Central: Translation of escapism

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