op·​er·​a·​tion·​al·​ism ˌä-pə-ˈrā-sh(ə-)nə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce operationalism (audio)
: a view that the concepts or terms used in nonanalytic scientific statements must be definable in terms of identifiable and repeatable operations
operationalist noun
operationalistic adjective

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Other philosophers found this way of thinking — known as operationalism — an intellectual cop‐out. Quanta Magazine, 9 Mar. 2021 Smith and other foes of operationalism complain that such definitions rely on what a group of people generally agree on. Quanta Magazine, 9 Mar. 2021

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

Word History


operational + -ism

First Known Use

1930, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of operationalism was in 1930

Dictionary Entries Near operationalism

Cite this Entry

“Operationalism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/operationalism. Accessed 2 Feb. 2023.

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