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 Suzi Gablik, an art critic who published books on René Magritte, Pop Art and the failures of modernism, is dead at 87. Carolina A. Mirandacolumnist, Los Angeles Times, 14 May 2022 Designed by the famed Palermo architect Ernesto Basile and opened in 1900, the villa is a masterpiece of Belle Époque modernism, a style known in Italy as Liberty — named for the London department store. Stanley Stewart, Travel + Leisure, 24 Apr. 2022 Early supporters of modernism might be surprised to realize that modern is now historic, and needs as much protection from the wrecking ball as Victorian-era and Craftsman-style houses. oregonlive, 22 Apr. 2022 These questions emerged in the wake of theological modernism, a European and North American movement dating back to the mid-19th century that sought to reinterpret Christianity to accommodate the emergence of modern science, history and ethics. Jason Oliver Evans, The Conversation, 14 Apr. 2022 Brown immediately began incorporating her interest in modernism into the picture-book genre, which at the time was undergoing an artistic and pedagogical revolution. Anna Holmes, The New Yorker, 31 Jan. 2022 Mies launched his career in Berlin in 1905 at age 19 and went on to become arguably the most important figure in architectural modernism, designing buildings with simple unencumbered facades of glass and steel. Anthony Paletta, WSJ, 14 Jan. 2022 After advocating minimalist, glass-and-steel modernism for decades, Johnson changed course dramatically in the 1980s, becoming an advocate for postmodernism. Steven Litt, cleveland, 23 Dec. 2021 Richard Rogers, the Pritzker Prize-winning British architect whose inviting, colorful modernism forever altered the cityscapes of Paris and London, died on Saturday at his home in London. New York Times, 18 Dec. 2021 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

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Modernism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 26 May. 2022.

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