fun·​da·​men·​tal·​ism ˌfən-də-ˈmen-tə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce fundamentalism (audio)
often capitalized : a movement in 20th century Protestantism emphasizing the literally interpreted Bible as fundamental to Christian life and teaching
: the beliefs of this movement
: adherence to such beliefs
a minister noted for his strict fundamentalism
: a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles
Islamic fundamentalism
political fundamentalism
fundamentalist noun
fundamentalist adjective
or fundamentalistic

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Many believe in religious, scientific, or political fundamentalism, which is often used as a weapon against other belief systems. Agustín Fuentes, Discover Magazine, 28 Feb. 2020 His oldest son, a secondary character, represents fundamentalism in his rejection of science and attraction to right-wing ideology, nationalism and military might. Nancy Lord, Anchorage Daily News, 29 Apr. 2023 As a political activist, the 87-year-old Nobel Prize winner has never stopped intervening in our public conversation, whether to defend freedom of expression, condemn religious fundamentalism or destroy his American green card after the election of Donald Trump. Wole Soyinka, New York Times, 28 Sep. 2021 Whatever happened to fundamentalism? D.g. Hart, WSJ, 4 Oct. 2022 While she was widely known for her campaign against clitoridectomy, Dr. Saadawi’s feminism was part of a broader perception of the oppression of women rooted in Marxist thought on class distinctions, imperial domination, patriarchy, capitalism and religious fundamentalism. New York Times, 21 Mar. 2021 Sharifi had already received death threats for her work when her homeland fell in August 2021 to the Taliban and its rigid fundamentalism. Dallas News, 25 Oct. 2022 There’s political conservatism and fundamentalism. Wendy Fry, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Jan. 2022 What is notable is that a liberal Pakistani who was pleading for tolerance, pluralism, and rejection of fundamentalism, still had to operate within the verbal parameters set by the fundamentalists! Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 25 Mar. 2011 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'fundamentalism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1912, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of fundamentalism was in 1912

Dictionary Entries Near fundamentalism

Cite this Entry

“Fundamentalism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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