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

Other Words from pluralism

pluralist \ ˈplu̇r-​ə-​list How to pronounce pluralism (audio) \ adjective or noun
pluralistic \ ˌplu̇r-​ə-​ˈli-​stik How to pronounce pluralism (audio) \ adjective
pluralistically \ ˌplu̇r-​ə-​ˈli-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē How to pronounce pluralism (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 In India, the ruling party’s Hindu nationalist agenda is eroding a democracy long anchored by the country’s religious and ethnic pluralism. Washington Post, 9 May 2022 The deal was welcomed by Jewish American leaders and seen as a significant breakthrough in promoting religious pluralism in Israel, where the ultra-Orthodox authorities govern almost every facet of Jewish life. NBC News, 4 Jan. 2022 Given the religious and ethnic pluralism of many claimant countries, restitution might even be a boon to the promotion of intercultural understanding. Julian Lucas, The New Yorker, 14 Apr. 2022 Staking space for pluralism requires dedicated effort. Annie Abrams, The New Republic, 30 Mar. 2022 In itself, this brings a considerable nuance to an archive: of pluralism and diversity of interests. Hallel Yadin, Longreads, 24 Mar. 2022 Wearing a set of horns on his head, with a pair of hooves replacing his feet, the singer intentionally evokes the image of Baphomet, an ancient pagan deity often considered a symbol of pluralism and deviance from societal norms. Stephen Daw, Billboard, 11 Feb. 2022 The justices’ answer to that question should be based on America’s longstanding religious pluralism—not on confused legal doctrines. William J. Haun, WSJ, 17 Jan. 2022 Making room for multiple perspectives reflects the pluralism of the American nation. The Salt Lake Tribune, 17 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of pluralism

1772, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of pluralism was in 1772

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Dictionary Entries Near pluralism

plural executive


pluralistic idealism

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Last Updated

13 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Pluralism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on pluralism

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


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