mod·​ern·​ism ˈmä-dər-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce modernism (audio)
: a practice, usage, or expression peculiar to modern times
such modernisms as "blog," "bromance," and "steampunk"
often capitalized : a tendency in theology to accommodate traditional religious teaching to contemporary thought and especially to devalue supernatural elements
: 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
modernist noun or adjective
modernistic adjective

Examples of modernism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In black-and-white footage, Locke is shown traipsing through the open-storage facilities of museums such as the Barnes Collection, whose founder, Albert C. Barnes, engages Locke in a dialogue on African art’s influence on European modernism. Alex Greenberger,, 12 July 2024 Mixing the design traditions of the area with a dash of Japanese and Brazilian modernism, Bush selected furnishings that felt as finely crafted as the home itself. Hannah Martin, Architectural Digest, 2 July 2024 That energy is partially the result of efforts to study and acquire South Asian art at institutions such as the Guggenheim Museum, Tate, and the Museum of Modern Art, themselves part of a larger attempt to expand the history of modernism. Karen K. Ho,, 24 June 2024 Though its proponents claim the authority of modernism, their arguments repeat attacks that the Constitution has already weathered before. John Yoo, National Review, 23 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for modernism 

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

Word History

First Known Use

1737, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of modernism was in 1737

Dictionary Entries Near modernism

Cite this Entry

“Modernism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


mod·​ern·​ism ˈmäd-ər-ˌniz-əm How to pronounce modernism (audio)
: a modern custom, expression, style, or idea
modernist noun or adjective
modernistic adjective
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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