realism

noun re·al·ism \ ˈrē-ə-ˌli-zəm \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of realism

1 :concern for fact or reality and rejection of the impractical and visionary
2 a :a doctrine that universals exist outside the mind; specifically :the conception that an abstract term names an independent and unitary reality
b :a theory that objects of sense perception or cognition exist independently of the mind — compare nominalism
3 :the theory or practice of fidelity in art and literature to nature or to real life and to accurate representation without idealization

realist

play \ˈrē-ə-list\ adjective or noun

realistic

play \ˌrē-ə-ˈli-stik\ adjective

realistically

play \ˌrē-ə-ˈli-sti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of realism in a Sentence

  1. He has a sense of realism about what can be done to improve the economy.

  2. The realism of her dream was alarming.

  3. the stark realism of the play

Recent Examples of realism from the Web

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

First Known Use of realism

1817

Other Fine Arts Terms


REALISM Defined for English Language Learners

realism

noun

Definition of realism for English Language Learners

  • : the quality of a person who understands what is real and possible in a particular situation and is able to deal with problems in an effective and practical way

  • : the quality of being very much like real life : the quality of seeming to be real

  • : a style of art or literature that shows or describes people and things as they are in real life


REALISM Defined for Kids

realism

noun re·al·ism \ ˈrē-ə-ˌli-zəm \

Definition of realism for Students

:willingness to face facts or to give in to what is necessary


Seen and Heard

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

WORD OF THE DAY

to buzz or drone

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Find the Cousins

  • a-large-tree-with-many-branches
  • Which pair shares a common word ancestor?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Bee Cubed

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

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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