ro·​man·​ti·​cism | \ rō-ˈman-tə-ˌsi-zəm, rə-\

Definition of romanticism

1 often capitalized

a(1) : a literary, artistic, and philosophical movement originating in the 18th century, characterized chiefly by a reaction against neoclassicism and an emphasis on the imagination and emotions, and marked especially in English literature by sensibility and the use of autobiographical material, an exaltation of the primitive and the common man, an appreciation of external nature, an interest in the remote, a predilection for melancholy, and the use in poetry of older verse forms
(2) : an aspect of romanticism
b : adherence to a romantic attitude or style
2 : the quality or state of being romantic

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Other Words from romanticism

romanticist \ rō-​ˈman-​tə-​sist , rə-​ \ noun, often capitalized

Examples of romanticism in a Sentence

Try not to discourage the romanticism of college students.

Recent Examples on the Web

By the 1980s, when the brutal truths about the Soviet regime had become too well known for much romanticism to be left about the worker’s paradise, the KGB relied mostly on the simpler motive of money. Stephen Budiansky, WSJ, "‘The Spy and the Traitor’ Review: Inside the Mind of a Double Agent," 13 Sep. 2018 The incredibly detailed sets stood in contrast to the ethereal simplicity of the collection, which, in its romanticism, fits on a continuum with Cecilie Bahnsen and Simone Rocha. Vogue, "Oslo Fashion Week Opens With Tulle, Trenches, Garden Parties, and a Bit of Baroque," 15 Aug. 2018 The romanticism of driving into the sunset was too powerful a narcotic to ignore—and promised the sort of never-look-back escape that fueled office drones for generations to come. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "Long Live Route 66," 19 July 2018 His larger-than-life symphonic romanticism is very much, readily identifiable regardless of the period or style his music is evoking on the big screen. John Von Rhein,, "John Williams explores galaxies far and near in enjoyable CSO program of his film music," 27 Apr. 2018 James, meanwhile, doesn't benefit from the romanticism of our memory. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Michael Jordan's mystique clouds our memories: LeBron is the G.O.A.T," 29 May 2018 Because no fan base has a shorter memory, or a stronger penchant for romanticism, than the NBA's. Shawn Windsor, Detroit Free Press, "Golden State Warriors just copying the path of past NBA champs," 5 July 2018 The quirks of Beaton’s personality — his cultivation of enemies and frustrated romanticism, among them — are finally not as interesting as his work. New York Times, "Review: In ‘Love, Cecil,’ an Aesthete Ahead of His Time," 28 June 2018 Perhaps, but there was also a romanticism and dreaminess to the clothes, not to mention pretty terrific double-C puffers. Vogue, "Vogue’s Anna Wintour on the Community and Female Empowerment She Saw at Paris Fashion Week," 8 Mar. 2018

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

1821, in the meaning defined at sense 1a(1)

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Last Updated

20 Dec 2018

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The first known use of romanticism was in 1821

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More Definitions for romanticism



English Language Learners Definition of romanticism

Romanticism : a style of art, literature, etc., during the late 18th and early 19th centuries that emphasized the imagination and emotions

: the quality or state of being impractical or unrealistic : romantic feelings or ideas

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More from Merriam-Webster on romanticism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with romanticism

Spanish Central: Translation of romanticism Encyclopedia article about romanticism

Comments on romanticism

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tremendous in size, volume, or degree

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