naturalism

noun
nat·u·ral·ism | \ˈna-chə-rə-ˌli-zəm, ˈnach-rə-\

Definition of naturalism 

1 : action, inclination, or thought based only on natural desires and instincts

2 : 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

3 : 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

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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

Stretches of naturalism fare better; Dale Soules, as the woman’s pious, emotionally ruthless aunt, slows things down by sheer force of will, mining genuine laughs. New York Times, "Review: In ‘Woman and Scarecrow,’ Female Fury Doesn’t Get Its Due," 22 May 2018 This is why using naturalism has become a default critical yardstick for reviewers, especially those on a tight deadline. Jeet Heer, The New Republic, "Why Film Critics Were Blind to The Big Lebowski’s Brilliance," 9 Mar. 2018 The director's background in documentaries is a bonus here, grounding the film's more fanciful magic-realism elements in cool-headed, observational naturalism. Stephen Dalton, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Volcano': Film Review | Karlovy Vary 2018," 13 July 2018 And the quiet moment in which Dotte (Nicole Lewis) reads Mabel’s fate in tarot cards is an acting class in naturalism. Jesse Green, New York Times, "Review: In ‘Wilder Gone,’ the Pull of Soil, Soul and Preacher Sex," 7 June 2018 On less authentic individuals, that would likely seem like conscious branding for an actor associated with intense naturalism, rather like Robert De Niro in Tribeca, say. Chris Jones, chicagotribune.com, "Michael Shannon returns to the role he played in 1995 for Red Orchid's 25th season," 3 July 2018 From then on, trying to make sense of the story would be like trying to find documentary naturalism in Salvador Dalí’s melting clocks. Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Times, "Review: ‘Leonora and Alejandro’ and One Rather Trippy Encounter," 19 Mar. 2018 The only likable Dutton is Kayce (a very good Luke Grimes, whose naturalism stands out here). Tim Goodman, The Hollywood Reporter, "'Yellowstone': TV Review," 18 June 2018 Tresnjak does this artfully by giving the play a few grandiose theatrical moments while also maintaining an air of nonchalance and naturalism. Christopher Arnott, courant.com, "Apartheid Drama "A Lesson From Aloes" At Hartford Stage Has Powerful, Relevant Message," 29 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'naturalism.' 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 naturalism

circa 1641, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

15 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for naturalism

The first known use of naturalism was circa 1641

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More Definitions for naturalism

naturalism

noun

English Language Learners Definition of naturalism

: a style of art or literature that shows people and things as they actually are

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