sen·​ti·​men·​tal·​ism | \ ˌsen-tə-ˈmen-tə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce sentimentalism (audio) \

Definition of sentimentalism

1 : the disposition to favor or indulge in sentimentality
2 : an excessively sentimental conception or statement

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Other Words from sentimentalism

sentimentalist \ ˌsen-​tə-​ˈmen-​tə-​list How to pronounce sentimentalist (audio) \ noun

Examples of sentimentalism in a Sentence

the sentimentalism of 19th-century art the novel's sentimentalism bored me

Recent Examples on the Web

Two new books offer important corrections to such sentimentalism. The Economist, "Under the surface of Eisenhower’s era," 3 May 2018 Score one for Boston sentimentalism — and count me in. Dave Denison,, "The Citgo sign has a dark side. Should that matter to Boston?," 8 Mar. 2018 The melodies relate to Celtic music, and the people who live there share a love for sentimentalism and suffering in silence. WSJ, "Novelist Graeme Macrae Burnet on Johnny Cash," 24 Oct. 2017 But strip away the easy sentimentalism of the moment and you’re left with little else. Sadanand Dhume, WSJ, "India’s Incredibly Shrunken Presidency," 20 July 2017 But the inclusion of the sweet little blond girl struck me as a step in the direction of interspecies sentimentalism. Dana Stevens, Slate Magazine, "War for the Planet of the Apes," 11 July 2017 Any other view of human nature is an exercise in magical thinking or sentimentalism. James Ryerson, New York Times, "All Too Human," 6 Mar. 2017 There can be something pitiless about Mr. Shults’s gaze, but the steadiness of his look is that of the artist who refuses to sell the truth out for sentimentalism. Manohla Dargis, New York Times, "Review: ‘Krisha,’ a Family Drama Set Around Thanksgiving," 17 Mar. 2016 Enriquez’s stories are historically aware and class-conscious, but her characters never avail themselves of sentimentalism or comfort. Jennifer Szalai, New York Times, "Argentine Fiction," 3 Mar. 2017

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

1817, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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The first known use of sentimentalism was in 1817

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English Language Learners Definition of sentimentalism

: a tendency to have or express feelings of love, sadness, etc., especially in a way that seems foolish or excessive : a sentimental quality

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