mes·​si·​a·​nism ˈme-sē-ə-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce messianism (audio)
: belief in a messiah as the savior of humankind
: religious devotion to an ideal or cause

Examples of messianism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In his famous book The Russian Idea (1946), the philosopher Nikolai Berdyaev argued that Bolshevism owes as much to Russian messianism as to Marx. Gary Saul Morson, The New York Review of Books, 1 Feb. 2024 The question is: For how much longer will ordinary Russians be receptive to Putinism, Russian messianism, and the state’s increasingly flimsy justifications for using military power? Andrei Kolesnikov, Foreign Affairs, 22 Aug. 2023 These are angry and ambitious men, who have succeeded at exploiting the grievances of the poor and the messianism of the religious into one of the most powerful political blocs in Israeli history. Daniel Drake, The New York Review of Books, 5 Nov. 2022 The singularity is digital messianism, as found in various strains of Judeo-Christian eschatology—a pretty basic onscreen Revelation. Stephen Marche, The Atlantic, 15 Sep. 2022 But there was also an element of historical messianism in Putin’s thinking, a pseudo-philosophical strain that ran far deeper than concerns over Western armaments. The New Yorker, 12 Mar. 2022 My criticisms of López Obrador’s political messianism have been public since 2006. Enrique Krauze, The New York Review of Books, 24 Sep. 2020 Take the all-quadrant pandering and formulas of old-school network TV, add in the messianism of a telethon, and swirl in some Reddit-friendly raunch and crassness, and set it all to hyperspeed. Spencer Kornhaber, The Atlantic, 11 Apr. 2020 Republican and conservative politics of late has had its own version of messianism, expressed as rage at the party’s Washington establishment of Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan, or as refusal to be associated with the Trump presidency. Daniel Henninger, WSJ, 20 Dec. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'messianism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


French messianisme, from messie messiah + -anisme (as in christianisme Christianity)

First Known Use

1867, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of messianism was in 1867

Dictionary Entries Near messianism

Cite this Entry

“Messianism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jun. 2024.

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