simplistic

adjective
sim·​plis·​tic | \ sim-ˈpli-stik \

Definition of simplistic

1 : simple
2 : of, relating to, or characterized by simplism : oversimple adequate, if occasionally simplistic, historical background— Harlow Robinson

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Other Words from simplistic

simplistically \ sim-​ˈpli-​sti-​k(ə-​)lē \ adverb

Did You Know?

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.

Recent Examples on the Web

Their simplistic shapes belie their profound complexities; a limitation of sorts inherent to cloisonné. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "The Hot Seat: Designer Marc Newson Is Celebrated With a Gagosian Gallery Show," 19 Jan. 2019 Even in their earliest, most child-friendly days, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books were never particularly simplistic. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "Even for the Harry Potter hardcore, Crimes of Grindelwald is one convoluted movie," 8 Nov. 2018 Some school security and psychology experts, as well as those who have been studying mass shootings for decades, say school designs and talk of arming teachers is a simplistic approach that doesn't get at the heart of preventing it from happening. Lisa Marie Pane, The Christian Science Monitor, "Why school shootings seem to happen mostly in small towns," 22 May 2018 Some school security and psychology experts, as well as those who have been studying mass shootings for decades, say school designs and talk of arming teachers is a simplistic approach that doesn’t get at the heart of preventing it from happening. Washington Post, "Mass school shootings mostly happening in small-town America," 22 May 2018 Some school security and psychology experts, as well as those who have been studying mass shootings for decades, say school designs and talk of arming teachers is a simplistic approach that doesn't get at the heart of preventing it from happening. Lisa Marie Pane, chicagotribune.com, "Mass school shootings mostly happening in small-town America," 21 May 2018 Metropolitan launched Stillman's career as the WASP Woody Allen—a description at once disparaging in its simplistic typecasting and arguably true. Mary Kaye Schilling, Town & Country, "Whit Stillman On Directing Jane Austen," 27 Apr. 2016 Though she has been known to take risks when dressing for the red carpet, Gwyneth kept both the silhouette of her gown and her bridal beauty natural and simplistic. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Gwyneth Paltrow Just Shared All the Details From Her Wedding–and Her Gown is Breathtaking," 2 Nov. 2018 By the standards of what would come later, the battle system was simplistic and repetitive. Andrew Cunningham, Ars Technica, "“Aren’t you a little too old for that?” Two decades of playing Pokémon," 2 Sep. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of simplistic

circa 1881, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

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Time Traveler for simplistic

The first known use of simplistic was circa 1881

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More Definitions for simplistic

simplistic

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of simplistic

disapproving : too simple : not complete or thorough enough : not treating or considering all possibilities or parts

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More from Merriam-Webster on simplistic

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with simplistic

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for simplistic

Spanish Central: Translation of simplistic

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