plu·​ral·​ism | \ ˈplu̇r-ə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce pluralism (audio) \

Definition of pluralism

1 : the holding of two or more offices or positions (such as benefices) at the same time
2 : the quality or state of being plural
3a : a theory that there are more than one or more than two kinds of ultimate reality
b : a theory that reality is composed of a plurality of entities
4a : a state of society in which members of diverse ethnic, racial, religious, or social groups maintain and develop their traditional culture or special interest within the confines of a common civilization
b : a concept, doctrine, or policy advocating this state

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Other Words from pluralism

pluralist \ ˈplu̇r-​ə-​list How to pronounce pluralist (audio) \ adjective or noun
pluralistic \ ˌplu̇r-​ə-​ˈli-​stik How to pronounce pluralistic (audio) \ adjective
pluralistically \ ˌplu̇r-​ə-​ˈli-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce pluralistically (audio) \ adverb

Examples of pluralism in a Sentence

He spoke of the benefits of cultural pluralism. She's a champion of pluralism.
Recent Examples on the Web The Democracy Index ranks countries based on five parameters: electoral process and pluralism, the functioning of government, political participation, political culture, and civil liberties. Sanaya Chandar, Quartz India, "India drops 10 places in The Economist’s democracy rankings over Kashmir and citizenship law," 22 Jan. 2020 Mate notes that Kerala stands out for its commitment to religious pluralism, as well as its long tradition of leftist, progressive, communist politics. Sanya Mansoor, Time, "‘A Defining Moment.’ An Indian State’s Decision to Challenge the Country's Controversial Citizenship Law Signals a Growing Divide," 20 Jan. 2020 In other words, Whitehead and Perry find that the threat to democratic pluralism is not evangelicalism itself but the culture around evangelicalism. Michael Luo, The New Yorker, "What It Would Take for Evangelicals to Turn on President Trump," 23 Dec. 2019 India’s rich history of secular pluralism and the Indian constitution. Fox News, "India expected to pass law approving citizenship for nearby refugees--unless they're Muslim," 12 Dec. 2019 If this happens, Iraq will lose the possibility for a healthy pluralism. Alon Ben-meir, National Review, "The Yazidis’ Crisis Continues to Unfold — Ending It Is a Moral Imperative," 25 Nov. 2019 Whatever else may be said for them, both arguments are departures from a long American tradition of religious pluralism. Ramesh Ponnuru, National Review, "The First Freedom Fades," 24 Oct. 2019 Nehru and other Congress members wrote Gandhi’s dedication to secular pluralism into the country’s constitution. San Diego Union-Tribune, "India’s 2 biggest political parties vie for Gandhi’s legacy," 1 Oct. 2019 While Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim-majority nation, is hailed for its embrace of religious pluralism, the country also has a painful history of domestic terrorist attacks. New York Times, "At the Heart of Indonesia Terror Attacks, a Well-Liked Family," 18 May 2018

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

1772, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for pluralism

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The first known use of pluralism was in 1772

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Last Updated

25 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Pluralism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Feb. 2020.

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How to pronounce pluralism (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of pluralism

: a situation in which people of different social classes, religions, races, etc., are together in a society but continue to have their different traditions and interests
: the belief that people of different social classes, religions, races, etc., should live together in a society

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pluralism

Britannica English: Translation of pluralism for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about pluralism

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