ex·​is·​ten·​tial·​ist | \ ˌeg-(ˌ)zi-ˈsten(t)-shə-list How to pronounce existentialist (audio) , ˌek-(ˌ)si- \

Definition of existentialist

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an adherent of existentialism



Definition of existentialist (Entry 2 of 2)

: of or relating to existentialism or existentialists

Other Words from existentialist


existentialistic \ ˌeg-​(ˌ)zi-​ˌsten(t)-​shə-​ˈli-​stik How to pronounce existentialist (audio) \ adjective
existentialistically \ ˌeg-​(ˌ)zi-​ˌsten(t)-​shə-​ˈli-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce existentialist (audio) \ adverb

Examples of existentialist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun That’s made evident yet again by Joachim Back’s ambitious cinematic adaptation of Jonas Karlsson’s acclaimed existentialist novel The Room, receiving its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 9 June 2022 Famous French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre argued that without God, we are left with the decision to come up with our own moral theory. Theodore Mcdarrah, Forbes, 17 Mar. 2022 To an existentialist, this should not come as a grand scoop or groundbreaking news. Anahid Nersessian, The New York Review of Books, 13 Jan. 2022 The existentialist philosopher argued that the commandment offers a far more radical proposition, one that requires us to surrender our commitment to justice, fairness, and private property. Meghan O'gieblyn, Wired, 7 Feb. 2022 Although an extremely difficult commercial path lies ahead, this epic-length existentialist road movie should enjoy a strong festival run following its world premiere at Rotterdam. Richard Kuipers, Variety, 31 Jan. 2022 Without spoiling too much, Lain’s existentialist character arc and isolation echo much of Neo’s, a vibe accentuated by the show’s ’90s alt-rock soundtrack and trippy, almost psychedelic take on cyberpunk imagery. Eric Vilas-boas, Vulture, 23 Dec. 2021 The philanthropist Pat Buckly, actress Joan Collins, poets Keats and Shelley, and the existentialist Sartre are also part of the Libertine clan. Vogue, 9 Dec. 2021 Barbara Stanwyck, a slinking powerhouse in the role), before instructing her in the work of existentialist Fredrich Nietzsche. Alison Willmore, Vulture, 6 Dec. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective To escape a conversation that’s turning into a monologue on existentialist philosophy. Washington Post, 14 Apr. 2022 In existentialist philosophy, freedom entails a fundamental uncertainty and even anxiety. Anahid Nersessian, The New York Review of Books, 13 Jan. 2022 Savio’s politics, like Hayden’s, were a kind of existentialist anti-politics. Louis Menand, The New Yorker, 15 Mar. 2021 In this existentialist delight, whimsical and profound, the mundane gains new enlightenment. Carlos Aguilar, Los Angeles Times, 26 Feb. 2021 Singer and turtleneck icon Juliette Gréco in 1946 co-founded the Paris club Le Tabou, which became famous for existentialist philosophy and jazz. Ephrat Livni, Quartzy, 23 Nov. 2019 Morality, and its absence, is the novel’s defining theme: in this sense, Sagan is far more of a classicist than others of her existentialist brethren, such as Sartre and Camus. Rachel Cusk, The New Yorker, 21 Aug. 2019 Paris was producing existentialist literature, but London had Bacon, the artist of existentialist life, a reckless gambler and homosexual masochist. Dominic Green, WSJ, 15 June 2018 And certain strands of her more recent work have a meditative, existentialist cast — a reminder of Ms. Piper’s initial hopes for the transcendent potential of abstraction. Holland Cotter, New York Times, 19 Apr. 2018 See More

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

First Known Use of existentialist


1930, in the meaning defined above


1895, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for existentialist


existential + -ist entry 1


existential + -ist entry 2

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Time Traveler for existentialist

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The first known use of existentialist was in 1895

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Last Updated

19 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Existentialist.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/existentialist. Accessed 6 Jul. 2022.

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Britannica English: Translation of existentialist for Arabic Speakers


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