qui·​et·​ism | \ ˈkwī-ə-ˌti-zəm How to pronounce quietism (audio) \

Definition of quietism

1a : a system of religious mysticism teaching that perfection and spiritual peace are attained by annihilation of the will and passive absorption in contemplation of God and divine things
b : a passive withdrawn attitude or policy toward the world or worldly affairs
2 : a state of calmness or passivity

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from quietism

quietist \ ˈkwī-​ə-​tist How to pronounce quietist (audio) \ adjective or noun
quietistic \ ˌkwī-​ə-​ˈti-​stik How to pronounce quietistic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of quietism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

What was an ultimately unsuccessful effort to draw the monkhood out of its political quietism swiftly mutated into an anti-progressive force, and continued to endure as a dark cloud over the region’s politics in subsequent decades. Amar Diwakar, The New Republic, "Saffron Curtain: How Buddhism Was Weaponized During the Cold War," 23 Mar. 2018 To acknowledge this fact is not to call for quietism. Jacob Brogan, Slate Magazine, "The Global Seed Vault may seem like a failsafe for end times, but it’s actually a reminder that the world is always ending.," 27 Mar. 2017 The piece predicts that political quietism, wars, pandemics, and fossil-fuel stubbornness will lead to civilizational collapse and a long dark age. Joey Eschrich, Slate Magazine, "Even the most far-out visions of tomorrow assume capitalism will survive.," 20 Sep. 2017 Diana was more aggressive, the clamorous defender of quietism. Tobi Haslett, The New Yorker, "The Feuds of Diana Trilling," 29 May 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of quietism

1687, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for quietism

quiet entry 1 + -ism, after quietist "practitioner of quietism," probably borrowed from Italian quietista, from quiete quiet entry 1 + -ista -ist entry 1 (perhaps after Spanish oración de quietud, literally, "prayer of quiet," phrase used by the mystics Teresa of Avila and John of the Cross)

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about quietism

Statistics for quietism

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for quietism

The first known use of quietism was in 1687

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on quietism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with quietism

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about quietism

Comments on quietism

What made you want to look up quietism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


a period when something is suspended

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!