ro·​man·​ti·​cism | \ rō-ˈman-tə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce romanticism (audio) , 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 How to pronounce romanticist (audio) , rə-​ \ noun, often capitalized

Examples of romanticism in a Sentence

Try not to discourage the romanticism of college students.

Recent Examples on the Web

Heart-pounding romanticism is for wide-eyed youth with foolish dreams in their heads. Marc Hirsh,, "First dances for 21st-century couples," 20 June 2019 Back in the 80s, The Face focused in on new romanticism, a short-lived subculture that combined elements of punk and glam rock, but without the nihilism and anti-fashion pillars of Punk. Scarlett Newman, Teen Vogue, "The Youth Culture Magazine That Put Naomi Campbell and Missy Elliot on the Cover Is Relaunching," 1 Apr. 2019 Both of these perspectives appear to me to be flawed by a childish romanticism that is irrelevant to our era. Lauren Collins, The New Yorker, "Can Emmanuel Macron Stem the Populist Tide?," 24 June 2019 Delacroix’s image is classic Orientalism, a prevailing colonial attitude toward the Near and Middle East that steeped the land and people in mystery, mysticism and romanticism. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Lost Version of Delacroix Masterpiece Goes on View After Being Found in Paris Apartment," 21 June 2019 On paper, the program that Australian conductor Simone Young created for her Chicago Symphony Orchestra debut looked a bit rich: the thickly scored romanticism of Liszt, Wagner and Brahms, the latter in an orchestration by Schoenberg. Howard Reich,, "CSO review: A rousing debut by conductor Simone Young," 7 June 2019 The movie, done in melancholy black and white, is a minor masterwork of downbeat downtown romanticism. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "What to Stream This Weekend: A Claire Denis Car Commercial, Rescued from Obscurity," 14 June 2019 The vibe for this month is incredibly optimistic, which is a good attitude to have, but don't let romanticism get in the way of what needs to be done. Randon Rosenbohm, Allure, "What June's Aries Horoscope Predictions Mean for You," 29 May 2019 But, to those who’ve loved him, Mr. Lévy’s romanticism is more than justified by his almost cosmic ambition: to bring an older reality to the doorstep of a newer one, often from the front lines of the most dangerous places on earth. Martin Peretz, WSJ, "‘The Empire and the Five Kings’ Review: The Desert Grows," 12 Feb. 2019

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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Statistics for romanticism

Last Updated

19 Jul 2019

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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

: 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

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


characterized by aphorism

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