fun·​da·​men·​tal·​ism | \ ˌfən-də-ˈmen-tə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce fundamentalism (audio) \

Definition of fundamentalism

1a often capitalized : a movement in 20th century Protestantism emphasizing the literally interpreted Bible as fundamental to Christian life and teaching
b : the beliefs of this movement
c : adherence to such beliefs a minister noted for his strict fundamentalism
2 : a movement or attitude stressing strict and literal adherence to a set of basic principles Islamic fundamentalism political fundamentalism

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from fundamentalism

fundamentalist \ ˌfən-​də-​ˈmen-​tə-​list How to pronounce fundamentalism (audio) \ noun
fundamentalist or fundamentalistic \ ˌfən-​də-​ˌmen-​tə-​ˈli-​stik How to pronounce fundamentalism (audio) \ adjective

Examples of fundamentalism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But fundamentalism’s habits of mind lingered, like an undertow. Michael Luo, The New Yorker, "The Wasting of the Evangelical Mind," 4 Mar. 2021 The government of Sheikh Hasina, Rahman’s daughter, is committed to stamping out Muslim fundamentalism. Tunku Varadarajan, WSJ, "Bangladesh Turns 50," 25 Mar. 2021 Thus, religious fundamentalism and constitutional originalism underpinned the conservatism that was the hallmark of the southern zeitgeist. Bruce Bartlett, The New Republic, "The Christian Devotion to a White America," 10 Aug. 2020 The modern evangelical movement emerged as a response to fundamentalism, particularly its lack of engagement with the social problems of the day. Michael Luo, The New Yorker, "The Wasting of the Evangelical Mind," 4 Mar. 2021 Ishiguro came of age as a writer in the early 1980s, when market fundamentalism was sweeping Britain and the West, a development that caught him entirely off guard. New York Times, "Kazuo Ishiguro Sees What the Future Is Doing to Us," 23 Feb. 2021 Supporters say it is aimed at snuffing out what the government describes as an encroaching fundamentalism that is subverting French values, notably the nation's foundational value of secularism and gender equality. Elaine Ganley, Star Tribune, "France passes anti-radicalism bill that worries Muslims," 16 Feb. 2021 Behemoth’s sonic-mayhem performance railing against religious-fundamentalism laws in Poland. Eric Walden, The Salt Lake Tribune, "Eric Walden: God bless the NBA for thwarting Mark Cuban’s socialist, un-American agenda," 13 Feb. 2021 The religious belief of an overwhelming majority of Southerners in 1860 was of a type that would today be called fundamentalism, resting on a literal interpretation of the Bible…. Bruce Bartlett, The New Republic, "The Christian Devotion to a White America," 10 Aug. 2020

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

See More

First Known Use of fundamentalism

1912, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for fundamentalism

fundamental entry 1 + -ism

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about fundamentalism

Time Traveler for fundamentalism

Time Traveler

The first known use of fundamentalism was in 1912

See more words from the same year

Statistics for fundamentalism

Last Updated

14 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fundamentalism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on fundamentalism

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Name that Thing: Flower Edition

Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

 AlphaBear 2

Spell words. Make bears.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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