essentialism

play
noun es·sen·tial·ism \i-ˈsen(t)-shə-ˌli-zəm\

Definition of essentialism

  1. 1 :  an educational theory that ideas and skills basic to a culture should be taught to all alike by time-tested methods — compare progressivism

  2. 2 :  a philosophical theory ascribing ultimate reality to essence embodied in a thing perceptible to the senses — compare nominalism

  3. 3 :  the practice of regarding something (such as a presumed human trait) as having innate existence or universal validity rather than as being a social, ideological, or intellectual construct

essentialist

play \i-ˈsen(t)-shə-list\ adjective or noun

Recent Examples of essentialism from the Web

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

First Known Use of essentialism

1927

Learn More about essentialism


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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