es·​cap·​ism | \ i-ˈskā-ˌpi-zəm How to pronounce escapism (audio) \

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 \ i-​ˈskā-​pist How to pronounce escapist (audio) \ adjective or noun

Examples of escapism in a Sentence

Reading romantic novels is for her a form of escapism.
Recent Examples on the Web My favorites combine history with mystery, weaving wine lore and modern themes into thirst-inducing escapism. Washington Post, "Pair these wine-centric novels with a good vintage for a taste of mystery, romance and an escape from the pandemic," 4 Sep. 2020 In his essay about writing the Black Panther comic, Ta-Nehisi Coates described how comics go beyond escapism, offering potent critiques of society. Kristine Guillaume, The Atlantic, "The Books Briefing: Imagining Black Futures," 4 Sep. 2020 Ratched doesn't even really work as trashy escapism, since the earlier episodes are a bit of a slog, and a sense of joylessness pervades throughout. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Shock treatment: Ratched is a stylishly gruesome soap opera dialed up to 11," 23 Sep. 2020 The need for escapism has always been clear to Simone Rocha. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "At Simone Rocha, Jane Austen Beauty Gets a Modern Touch," 21 Sep. 2020 The throwback escapism that Pen15 provides its audience at this bizarre time isn’t remotely lost on Erskine and Konkle. Emma Specter, Vogue, "Pen15’s Second Season Is Painfully Real, and No Less Glorious Than Its First," 18 Sep. 2020 But those involved in the business of sports have long assumed that audiences just want entertainment and escapism – a respite from all the controversy and polarization elsewhere in the news. Michael Serazio, The Conversation, "The numbers behind America’s 180 on athlete activism," 15 Sep. 2020 While some may enjoy TV as a form of escapism, Metz argues that This Is Us fans will find healing in watching the Pearson family. Karen Mizoguchi,, "Why Chrissy Metz Is 'Excited' About This Is Us Addressing the COVID-19 Pandemic in Season 5," 15 Sep. 2020 Amid a turn toward the convergence of leisure and escapism—I’m looking at you, recreational sourdough bakers—a number of French citizens are heading in the opposite direction. Lauren Collins, The New Yorker, "Stop Doomscrolling and Play a Board Game About Class Warfare," 14 Sep. 2020

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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Time Traveler for escapism

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The first known use of escapism was in 1933

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Statistics for escapism

Last Updated

16 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Escapism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for escapism


How to pronounce escapism (audio)

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 How to pronounce escapism (audio) \

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 How to pronounce escapist (audio) \ adjective or noun

More from Merriam-Webster on escapism

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for escapism

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