in·​cre·​men·​tal·​ism | \ ˌiŋ-krə-ˈmen-tə-ˌli-zəm \

Definition of incrementalism

: a policy or advocacy of a policy of political or social change by degrees : gradualism

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Other Words from incrementalism

incrementalist \ ˌiŋ-​krə-​ˈmen-​tə-​list \ noun

Examples of incrementalism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The great divide in that room, the divide between the white liberals on the one hand and the black activists on the other, was really about this choice between pragmatism and radicalism, between incrementalism and revolution. Sean Illing, Vox, "What a 1963 RFK-James Baldwin meeting teaches us about race in Trump’s America," 8 June 2018 The fantasy of an omnipotent leader is perpetually popular in democracies, because democratic politics is all about compromise and incrementalism. Adam Kirsch, The Atlantic, "Bill Clinton’s Novel Isn't a Thriller—It's a Fantasy," 16 June 2018 Kennedy, to his credit, wasn’t talking merely about incrementalism. Sean Illing, Vox, "What a 1963 RFK-James Baldwin meeting teaches us about race in Trump’s America," 8 June 2018 Mrs Clinton’s uninspiring incrementalism made that relative disregard seem absolute. The Economist, "Democrats have plenty of anger, but few good ideas," 17 May 2018 The answer will be incrementalism in all aspects: in autonomy, range, scope, and usage. David Roberts, Vox, "Here’s how self-driving cars could catch on," 8 May 2018 Giving tax credits to technically out-of-date PHEVs only rewards automakers’ incrementalism. Dan Neil, WSJ, "Why the U.S. Needs to Up Its Standards for Hybrid Electric Vehicles," 20 Apr. 2018 Some Democrats seem to be angry at this kind of incrementalism, and/or afraid the rug will be pulled out from under them. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Politics Group-Chat: What We Talk About When We Talk About Gun Control," 8 Oct. 2017 If, through her incrementalism, she can be seen as someone who made sturdy and stable the European ship, that would certainly be a worthy legacy. Griff Witte, Washington Post, "In a turbulent world, Germans set to reward Angela Merkel for country’s stability," 21 Sep. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incrementalism.' 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 incrementalism

1966, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of incrementalism was in 1966

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