nom·​i·​nal·​ism | \ ˈnä-mə-nə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce nominalism (audio) , ˈnäm-nə-ˌli-zəm \

Definition of nominalism

1 : a theory that there are no universal essences in reality and that the mind can frame no single concept or image corresponding to any universal or general term
2 : the theory that only individuals and no abstract entities (such as essences, classes, or propositions) exist — compare essentialism, realism

Other Words from nominalism

nominalist \ ˈnä-​mə-​nə-​list How to pronounce nominalist (audio) , ˈnäm-​nə-​list \ noun
nominalist or nominalistic \ ˌnä-​mə-​nə-​ˈli-​stik How to pronounce nominalistic (audio) , ˌnäm-​nə-​ˈli-​ \ adjective

First Known Use of nominalism

1830, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of nominalism was in 1830

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Cite this Entry

“Nominalism.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 19 January 2020.

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to insert between existing elements

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