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 \ -​nist How to pronounce modernist (audio) \ noun or adjective
modernistic \ ˌmä-​dər-​ˈnis-​tik How to pronounce modernistic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of modernism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

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 Meanwhile, in Houston, the Menil Drawing Institute is expected to open later this year, designed by Los Angeles firm Johnston Marklee with a sensitive modernism very much in the spirit of the founders. William Middleton, Town & Country, "How the De Menil Family Raised Good Taste to an Art Form," 7 Mar. 2018 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

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

23 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for modernism

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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