mod·​ern·​ism | \ ˈmä-dər-ˌni-zəm How to pronounce modernism (audio) \

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

Other Words from modernism

modernist \ ˈmä-​dər-​nist How to pronounce modernism (audio) \ noun or adjective
modernistic \ ˌmä-​dər-​ˈni-​stik How to pronounce modernism (audio) \ adjective

Examples of modernism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But paradoxically, these moments rarely feel abrasive (as in some other forms of modernism). New York Times, 22 Aug. 2022 Farahani says the architecture of the Time Variance Authority offices, where a lot of action takes place, was influenced by brutalism and Soviet-style modernism. Jazz Tangcay, Variety, 29 July 2022 Paltrow's Montecito, Calif. home blends together old-world details and sleek modernism, as detailed on her lifestyle site, in order to best reflect her family's style. Natalia Senanayake,, 18 July 2022 The band’s eclecticism was sophisticated, and its cool modernism would inspire new wave bands such as Talking Heads and the Cars in the late 1970s and groups in the 1980s, including Duran Duran and the Smiths. Marc Myers, WSJ, 14 June 2022 Skilled at creating spaces that feel masculine and easy, Neal Beckstedt describes his style as warm modernism. The Editors Of Elle Decor, ELLE Decor, 1 June 2022 The main thrust of the MoMA exhibition ends in 1985, as modernism was fading as the first and obvious architectural response to national ambition. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 17 May 2022 Theological modernism led liberal Christian theologians to create an alternative path between the rigid orthodoxies of Christian churches and the rationalism of atheists and others. Jason Oliver Evans, The Conversation, 14 Apr. 2022 The Leontovych Musical Society, organized less than two weeks after his murder, brought together composers, musicians, critics and folklorists to explore a specifically Ukrainian style of the modernism in vogue across Western Europe at the time. New York Times, 13 May 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of modernism

1737, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of modernism was in 1737

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Last Updated

17 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Modernism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Sep. 2022.

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