The facts of nature and of life are more apt to be complex than simple. Simplistic theories are generally one-sided and partial, wrote the American clergyman James Freeman Clarke in the 19th century, nicely illustrating the difference between plain, ordinary simple and the then-new adjective simplistic. Simplistic is generally synonymous with oversimplified, but we didn't have the verb oversimplify and its participle oversimplified until well into the 20th century. Simplistic is sometimes used in the neutral sense of "not complicated" (in which case it is synonymous with simple) but this borders on misuse-simplistic is generally understood to be pejorative.
Examples of simplistic in a Sentence
a simplistic approach to a complicated problem
His interpretation of the theory was too simplistic.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'simplistic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.