ir·​ra·​tio·​nal·​ism | \ i-ˈra-sh(ə-)nə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce irrationalism (audio) \

Definition of irrationalism

1 : a system emphasizing intuition, instinct, feeling, or faith rather than reason or holding that the universe is governed by irrational forces
2 : the quality or state of being irrational

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from irrationalism

irrationalist \ i-​ˈra-​sh(ə-​)nə-​list How to pronounce irrationalist (audio) \ noun or adjective
irrationalistic \ i-​ˌra-​sh(ə-​)nə-​ˈli-​stik How to pronounce irrationalistic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of irrationalism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This exercise forces you to succumb to the irrationalism of your silly heart. Mayukh Sen, Bon Appetit, "The Unshakeable Indian Restaurant I’ll Go Out of My Way to Visit," 6 June 2018 My gut reaction is that these student mobbists manage to combine snowflake fragility and lynch mob irrationalism into one perfectly poisonous cocktail. Jay Willis, GQ, "David Brooks Continues His Crusade Against the Scourge of Meanie College Students," 9 Mar. 2018

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

First Known Use of irrationalism

1811, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about irrationalism

Time Traveler for irrationalism

Time Traveler

The first known use of irrationalism was in 1811

See more words from the same year

Statistics for irrationalism

Cite this Entry

“Irrationalism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2020.

More from Merriam-Webster on irrationalism Encyclopedia article about irrationalism

Comments on irrationalism

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


Test Your Vocabulary

Challenging Vocabulary Quiz Returns!

  • stylized drawing of woman pole vaulting across gap to get trophy
  • Which is a synonym of fuliginous?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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