in·​tel·​lec·​tu·​al·​ism | \ ˌin-tə-ˈlek-chə-wə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce intellectualism (audio) , -chə-ˌli-, -shwə-ˌli-, -chü(-ə)-ˌli- \

Definition of intellectualism

: devotion to the exercise of intellect or to intellectual pursuits

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from intellectualism

intellectualist \ ˌin-​tə-​ˈlek-​chə-​wə-​list How to pronounce intellectualism (audio) , -​chə-​list , -​shwə-​list , -​chü(-​ə)-​list \ noun or adjective
intellectualistic \ ˌin-​tə-​ˌlek-​chə-​wə-​ˈli-​stik How to pronounce intellectualism (audio) , -​chə-​ˈli-​ , -​shwə-​ˈli-​ , -​chü(-​ə)-​ˈli-​ \ adjective

Examples of intellectualism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Covid-19 denialism, their unfounded beliefs in election fraud, and their embrace of QAnon conspiracies, by discussing the anti-intellectualism that has long pervaded evangelicalism. Audrey Clare Farley, The New Republic, "The Post-Trump Crack-Up of the Evangelical Community," 16 Mar. 2021 This led to the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and 1930s, when an era of art, culture and intellectualism was born that gave way to leaders like Marcus Garvey and Zora Neale Hurston. David Oliver, USA TODAY, "MSNBC's Trymaine Lee on 'Into America' podcast, our future: 'We have to engage with our past'," 18 Feb. 2021 The White House likes to tout its belief in facts and science, an indirect rebuke of what critics condemn as four years of anti-intellectualism under former President Donald Trump. Naomi Lim, Washington Examiner, "Facts vs. spin: Biden White House blurs the line to advance goals," 8 Apr. 2021 Dealing with creative writing, life, isolation, intellectualism, social interaction, mentoring and mortality it’s an inspired choice for the COVID era. Christopher Arnott,, "10 Connecticut arts events for April: The HSO plays The Wadsworth, cafe nine reopens, and more," 3 Apr. 2021 Times theater critic Charles McNulty writes about why diverse representation is so critical in the arts — as well as in the honors that are bestowed upon them: because art can make an emotional connection that pure intellectualism can’t. Los Angeles Times, "Essential Arts: A compelling anti-tourist California in new photo show," 27 Mar. 2021 But there were signs in that first campaign of Mr. Johnson’s predilection for anti-intellectualism. New York Times, "Assaulting the Truth, Ron Johnson Helps Erode Confidence in Government," 21 Mar. 2021 Evangelicalism in America, however, has come to be defined by its anti-intellectualism. Michael Luo, The New Yorker, "The Wasting of the Evangelical Mind," 4 Mar. 2021 But chiding Biden, a lifelong education champion, about her honorific — on the esteemed and far-reaching pages of the Wall Street Journal — smacks of an anti-intellectualism that Burnham can’t abide. Heidi Stevens,, "Column: We didn’t just hate the Dr. Jill Biden op-ed by Joseph Epstein for its condescension. We hated it for its contempt for educators.," 14 Dec. 2020

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

1800, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about intellectualism

Time Traveler for intellectualism

Time Traveler

The first known use of intellectualism was in 1800

See more words from the same year

Statistics for intellectualism

Last Updated

2 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Intellectualism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 May. 2021.

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

Comments on intellectualism

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Used by Nabokov Quiz

  • image1676440788
  • Choose the best definition or synonym for the word in bold: "There are some eructations that sound like cheers—at least, mine did." Lolita
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!