nihilism

play
noun ni·hil·ism \ˈnī-(h)ə-ˌli-zəm, ˈnē-\

Definition of nihilism

  1. 1a :  a viewpoint that traditional values and beliefs are unfounded and that existence is senseless and useless Nihilism is a condition in which all ultimate values lose their value. — Ronald H. Nashb :  a doctrine that denies any objective ground of truth and especially of moral truths

  2. 2a :  a doctrine or belief that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake independent of any constructive program or possibilityb capitalized :  the program of a 19th century Russian party advocating revolutionary reform and using terrorism and assassination

nihilist

play \ˈnī-(h)ə-list, ˈnē-\ noun or adjective

nihilistic

play \ˌnī-(h)ə-ˈli-stik, ˌnē-\ adjective

Recent Examples of nihilism from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'nihilism'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of nihilism

German Nihilismus, from Latin nihil nothing — more at nil


NIHILISM Defined for English Language Learners

nihilism

play
noun

Definition of nihilism for English Language Learners

  • : the belief that traditional morals, ideas, beliefs, etc., have no worth or value

  • : the belief that a society's political and social institutions are so bad that they should be destroyed


Medical Dictionary

nihilism

play play
noun ni·hi·lism \ˈnī-(h)ə-ˌliz-əm, ˈnē-\

Medical Definition of nihilism

  1. 1:  nihilistic delusion

  2. 2:  skepticism as to the value of a drug or method of treatment

nihilistic

\ˌnī-(h)ə-ˈlis-tik, ˌnē-\play adjective


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