nat·​u·​ral·​ism | \ ˈna-chə-rə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce naturalism (audio) , 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

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 The project, called Martyn Stewart's Listening Planet, is both a celebration Stewart’s contributions to the field of audio naturalism and his final effort to call attention to vulnerable places and animals. Corryn Wetzel, Smithsonian Magazine, 14 Feb. 2022 So of course, who is overseeing the whole thing but Marlon Brando, the most influential actor of the second half of the 20th century — the man who sort of invented a new vocabulary of neurotic screen naturalism. New York Times, 28 Apr. 2022 Troye inhabits a character with such conviction and naturalism. Jeff Nelson,, 17 Feb. 2022 Here, Everett’s turn is unflashy, with the production’s hushed naturalism — most conspicuous in the tone and casting — extending to her musical segments. Washington Post, 14 Jan. 2022 Perhaps more importantly, the fine cast is not only avowedly contemporary in its exploration of the material, constantly searching for a deeper naturalism, but also very much in the present moment. Chris Jones,, 13 Jan. 2022 Their aesthetic is naturalism meets steampunk, sprinkled with its own proprietary formula of magical realism. David G. Allan, CNN, 9 Feb. 2022 The public had been primed for the Method’s startling brand of naturalism with the success of John Garfield, a Group member who had introduced a rebellious, tortured charisma to Hollywood. Alexandra Schwartz, The New Yorker, 31 Jan. 2022 Don’t get trapped in naturalism, and be open to your dreams. Rebecca Keegan, The Hollywood Reporter, 5 Jan. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of naturalism

circa 1641, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of naturalism was circa 1641

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Last Updated

24 May 2022

Cite this Entry

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

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Nglish: Translation of naturalism for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about naturalism


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