meliorism

play
noun me·lio·rism \ ˈmēl-yə-ˌri-zəm , ˈmē-lē-ə- \

Definition of meliorism

:the belief that the world tends to improve and that humans can aid its betterment

meliorist

play \-rist\ adjective or noun

melioristic

play \ˌmēl-yə-ˈris-tik, ˌmē-lē-ə-\ adjective

meliorism was our Word of the Day on 11/16/2014. Hear the podcast!

Recent Examples of meliorism from the Web

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

Did You Know?

In 1877, British novelist George Eliot believed she had coined meliorist when she wrote, "I don't know that I ever heard anybody use the word 'meliorist' except myself." Her contemporaries credited her with coining both meliorist and meliorism, and one of her letters contains the first documented use of meliorism, but there is evidence that meliorist had been around for 40 years or so before she started using it. Whoever coined it did so by drawing on the Latin melior, meaning "better." It is likely that the English coinages were also influenced by another melior descendant, meliorate, a synonym of ameliorate ("to make better") that was introduced to English in the mid-1500s.

First Known Use of meliorism

1877


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