ro·​man·​ti·​cism rō-ˈman-tə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce romanticism (audio)
often capitalized
: 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
: an aspect of romanticism
: adherence to a romantic attitude or style
: the quality or state of being romantic
romanticist noun often capitalized

Examples of romanticism in a Sentence

Try not to discourage the romanticism of college students.
Recent Examples on the Web The romanticism has calcified; his movies are less ardent, as much sculptures to passion as passionate themselves. Wesley Morris, New York Times, 26 Oct. 2023 So Howard went back to square one and composed a wistful, lullaby-like theme and numerous arpeggiated solos for Hahn, the violinist, and the resulting score took on a woodsy romanticism. Tim Greiving, Washington Post, 19 Oct. 2023 Her words are steeped in romanticism and hallucinatory images. Joy Lanzendorfer, The New Yorker, 13 Oct. 2023 However, just below his hazy clouds and boozy romanticism laid the heart of a ruminative, cuttingly counter-cultural short story writer. Chicago Tribune Staff, Chicago Tribune, 4 Sep. 2023 It’s made up of a collection of ingredients: humid alleyways in dense cities, neon lights cutting through darkness, quietly flashy fashion, nostalgic music, tragic romanticism, and the smoke of many, many cigarettes. Kyle Chayka, The New Yorker, 1 Sep. 2023 But with Bennett and Garland teaming up on the track, the rawness in their vocals is palpable, and the sweeping symphony adds another layer of romanticism to the track. Ilana Kaplan, Peoplemag, 25 July 2023 Klimek: Rush did build his business around people's fascination with the deep sea and exploration, the romanticism of figures like Captain Nemo or even Indiana Jones. Chris Klimek, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Aug. 2023 Schoenberg’s score, with its surging melodies and lush romanticism, has been catnip to choreographers, with Jiri Kylian, Anne Teresa de Keersmaeker, Kim Brandstrup and Antony Tudor among those who have created dances to it, some hewing to a narrative, some working more abstractly. Roslyn Sulcas, New York Times, 3 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'romanticism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

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

Time Traveler
The first known use of romanticism was in 1821

Dictionary Entries Near romanticism

Cite this Entry

“Romanticism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


ro·​man·​ti·​cism rō-ˈmant-ə-ˌsiz-əm How to pronounce romanticism (audio)
often capitalized : a literary and artistic movement marked chiefly by an emphasis on the imagination and emotions
: the quality or state of being romantic
romanticist noun often capitalized

More from Merriam-Webster on romanticism

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