modernism

noun
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

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Other Words from modernism

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

Examples of modernism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

In the 1970s, Tigerman began to break from modernism through such buildings as Pensacola Place, a Janus-faced North Side apartment high-rise. Blair Kamin, chicagotribune.com, "Iconoclastic Chicago architect Stanley Tigerman, who shaped the city with his buildings and ideas, dies at 88," 4 June 2019 In a world that was looking to reinvent a post-war aesthetic in architecture, furniture, automotive, and fashion design through innovation that focused on practicality, speed and labor-free invention, this triumvirate created a parallel modernism. Hamish Bowles, Vogue, "Dior and His Decorators: How Two Interior Designers Created a “New Look” for the Home," 21 Sep. 2018 As modernism gained popularity following World War II, ornamental details like parquet were often eschewed in favor of carpet, concrete, or more simple wood floors. Hadley Keller, House Beautiful, "Parquet Flooring: What Exactly Is it?," 15 Apr. 2019 MoMA has covered Le Corbusier ad infinitum, and its 2015 Latin American architecture exhibition delved deeply into the use of modernism (including concrete) to construct new neighborhoods, cities, and universities across Central and South America. Alexandra Lange, Curbed, "Concrete utopia," 12 July 2018 This is architecture that offers a sequence of events revealed gradually with constantly shifting perspectives, as opposed to classic modernism’s tightly controlled image of architecture as geometric tableau. Julie V. Iovine, WSJ, "The Best Architecture of 2018: Building for Complex Experiences," 14 Dec. 2018 From Jean Toomer to Marianne Moore, Frank Lloyd Wright to Karlheinz Stockhausen, collage techniques were central to modernism and the avant-garde, a material analogue for the chaotic simultaneity of modern experience. Michael Robbins, chicagotribune.com, "'John Ashbery: They Knew What They Wanted' celebrates a poet and collagist who understood the value of fun," 9 May 2018 How could a tastemaker who preached the gospel of modernism become a convert to the baubles and trimmings of postmodernism? Mary Ann Gwinn, The Seattle Times, "A closer look at three National Book Critics Circle finalists," 20 Feb. 2019 Known as a beacon of modernism, his architectural point of view included both the exteriors and interiors of his buildings, maintaining that an architect could also function as an interior designer. Carisha Swanson, House Beautiful, "The Platner Arm Chair Will Add Instant Mid-Century Sophistication to Your Home," 1 Feb. 2019

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

15 Jun 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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