modernism

noun
mod·​ern·​ism | \ ˈmä-dər-ˌni-zəm \

Definition of modernism

1 : a practice, usage, or expression peculiar to modern times such modernisms as "blog," "bromance," and "steampunk"
2 often capitalized : a tendency in theology to accommodate traditional religious teaching to contemporary thought and especially to devalue supernatural elements
3 : modern artistic or literary philosophy and practice especially : a self-conscious break with the past and a search for new forms of expression extols the … modernism that laid the foundation of all twentieth-century design — Jeffrey Simpson

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Other Words from modernism

modernist \ -​nist \ noun or adjective
modernistic \ ˌmä-​dər-​ˈnis-​tik \ adjective

Examples of modernism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Ellison’s push to make science fiction more literary was a victorious crusade, although other writers who made the same journey proved better equipped to write lasting books that blurred the line between fantastika and modernism. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Harlan Ellison’s Death Raises a #MeToo Quandary," 2 July 2018 With its quiet modernism, clarity of light, and absolute empowerment of the art, the Menil Collection is one of the most universally praised museum buildings of recent decades. William Middleton, Town & Country, "How the De Menil Family Raised Good Taste to an Art Form," 7 Mar. 2018 More in Icons Now the new Tate Britain show suggests seeing him as a precursor of modernism. J.s. Marcus, WSJ, "In London, Medieval Legends Through Modern Eyes," 19 Oct. 2018 To hell with the aesthetic tyranny of chilly modernism! Kelsey Keith, Curbed, "The inaugural monthly column from Curbed’s editor-in-chief turns an eye to Postmodernism, following the loss of Robert Venturi," 24 Sep. 2018 The de Menils had already established a singular style: a pure vision of modernism combined with respect for the past and a collection of art that spanned the centuries. William Middleton, Town & Country, "How the De Menil Family Raised Good Taste to an Art Form," 7 Mar. 2018 Musical modernism had no more eloquent or influential avatar than Boulez. John Von Rhein, chicagotribune.com, "Honoring Pierre Boulez, the titan of modernism who opened the ears of Chicagoans to the music of our time," 15 May 2018 The wide selection of Nadelman items alone — perhaps the peak of Kirstein’s often erratic taste in the visual arts — is worth the visit to this gathering: modernism meets primitivism meets classicism. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "Review: ‘Transmissions’ Evokes a Climate (Poetic, With a Chance of Ballet)," 26 Mar. 2018 As for here at home, the cutoff would only exacerbate the entrenched misconception that Europeans brought modernism to a New World that was in fact a hotbed of culture and innovation long before Cortes and Columbus walked the earth. Chris Wilson, Time, "Jesus, Genghis Khan and Joan of Arc Are Just Some of the Major Figures That Could Be Cut From AP World History Classes," 25 June 2018

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

1737, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

12 Jan 2019

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The first known use of modernism was in 1737

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More Definitions for modernism

modernism

noun

English Language Learners Definition of modernism

: a style of art, architecture, literature, etc., that uses ideas and methods which are very different from those used in the past

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More from Merriam-Webster on modernism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with modernism

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for modernism

Spanish Central: Translation of modernism

Nglish: Translation of modernism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about modernism

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