nat·​u·​ral·​ism ˈna-ch(ə-)rə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce naturalism (audio)
: action, inclination, or thought based only on natural desires and instincts
: a theory denying that an event or object has a supernatural significance
specifically : the doctrine that scientific laws are adequate to account for all phenomena
: realism in art or literature
specifically : a theory or practice in literature emphasizing scientific observation of life without idealization and often including elements of determinism

Examples of naturalism in a Sentence

a major exponent of naturalism, Theodore Dreiser depicted life's harsh realities unflinchingly and without moral judgment
Recent Examples on the Web But their idea of visual accuracy is a vestige of naturalism. Hazlitt, 9 Aug. 2023 The film presents various dualities – country/city, past/present, artifice/naturalism. Callum McLennan, Variety, 3 Aug. 2023 Coupling real elements with fictional constructs, the film strikes a delicate balance between naturalism and artifice. Callum McLennan, Variety, 3 Aug. 2023 The characters are a woman and two men in their 20s (played with exquisite restraint and impeccable naturalism by Zhou Dongyu, Liu Haoran and Qu Chuxiao) entangled in a quasi-love-triangle and afflicted by anxieties seldom articulated. David Rooney, The Hollywood Reporter, 28 May 2023 As an optimistic hot mess, misunderstood and too well understood, the actress gets an unusual wealth of attitudes to play, from wildly comic to subtly heartbreaking, anchoring this antic series with naturalism. Los Angeles Times Staff, Los Angeles Times, 11 May 2023 Moore is after something more mysterious than naturalism. David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times, 14 June 2023 And often that is more easily planted into naturalism and drama that isn’t too fantastical. Emily Zemler, Rolling Stone, 27 May 2023 Gilman nails all of it, chirping mouthfuls of dialogue in a manner that evades naturalism but still feels appropriate to this reflective-beyond-his-years kid. Joe Reid, Vulture, 26 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'naturalism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1641, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of naturalism was circa 1641

Dictionary Entries Near naturalism

Cite this Entry

“Naturalism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Sep. 2023.

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