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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Alberto Savinio, the hidden spring of metaphysical modernism, lives on in his Self-Portrait as an Owl (1936). The New York Review of Books, "Gini Alhadeff," 25 Oct. 2018 Visual and narrative complexity is a way of keeping the uninitiated out and also a way to diverge dramatically from the tendency in much of modernism toward reductive art-making with radically simple forms. Dallas News, "Texas artist Trenton Doyle Hancock builds a world in massive exhibition space," 19 July 2019 The first came in the 1920s when a group of painters and writers embraced modernism under the banner of antropofagia (cultural cannibalism). The Economist, "João Gilberto, the man who sang “The Girl from Ipanema”, has died," 11 July 2019 Also from a section of the show that features actual lighting fixtures inspired by 20th-century modernism. Ray Mark Rinaldi, The Know, "Commentary: Denver Art Museum has turned into Denver’s living room," 7 July 2019 Aristocratic in his bearing, a former colonel in the Horse Guards, an avid proponent of modernism, Teliakovsky was convinced that Petipa had long outlived his usefulness. John Check, WSJ, "‘Marius Petipa’ Review: The Imperial Ballet Master," 28 June 2019 Get Settled in Palm Springs Palm Springs is known for its simply elegant architecture: desert minimalism meets mid-century modernism. Jessi Walker, Marie Claire, "Take the Ultimate Southern California Road Trip," 27 June 2019 Bauhaus was the birthplace of modernism, and its concepts and philosophy quickly spread. Margo Pfeiff, latimes.com, "Exploring the birthplace of Bauhaus, a German movement that changed design," 16 June 2019 In 1925 Le Corbusier, the Swiss-French architect and pioneer of modernism, suggested razing the homes, statues, and streets of much of Paris’s Right Bank. Susan Goldberg, National Geographic, "What will make cities livable as millions more move to them?," 22 June 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.

See More

First Known Use of modernism

1737, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about modernism

Statistics for modernism

Last Updated

10 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for modernism

The first known use of modernism was in 1737

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on modernism

What made you want to look up modernism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to move or obtain by small maneuvers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!