socialist realism


: a Marxist aesthetic theory calling for the didactic use of literature, art, and music to develop social consciousness in an evolving socialist state
socialist realist noun or adjective

Examples of socialist realism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As per the genre conventions of socialist realism, Thea and Li seize the means of dough production, each taking command of a dumpling factory to pump out their own national variant for a taste-testing contest. Jennifer Wilson, The New Yorker, 3 Mar. 2024 Rubinstein was a founder of Russian conceptualism, a pie-in-your-face response to the socialist realism favored by the Soviet regime. Nr Editors, National Review, 26 Jan. 2024 Indeed, Kundera was a poet—not a novelist—at this time, and composed three collections over the course of the decade: Man: A Wide Garden (1953), The Last May (1955), and Monologues (1957), all written in the style of panegyric socialist realism. Jared Marcel Pollen, The New Republic, 12 July 2023 Rodchenko’s diminution illustrates the Soviet tragedy of formal and visionary genius that was ground underfoot even before the inception, in 1928, of Stalin’s ruinous first Five Year Plan, and of the coerced visual banalities of socialist realism. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 21 Dec. 2020 More intriguing is that the artist didn’t quite abandon socialist realism, the official style she was taught at Beijing’s Central Academy of the Arts. Washington Post, 6 Oct. 2021 His movies represented a radical departure from socialist realism, a typical communist-era genre focusing on realistically depicting the struggles of the working class., 7 Sep. 2020 Nearly a century on, socialist realism can finally be fun. Sophie Pinkham, The New York Review of Books, 18 Nov. 2019 The Nazis forced the Bauhaus out of Dessau in 1932, and in the same year the Soviet Union dissolved independent artists’ unions and promulgated the single style of socialist realism. Jason Farago, New York Times, 2 Apr. 2018

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'socialist realism.' 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

1933, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of socialist realism was in 1933

Dictionary Entries Near socialist realism

Cite this Entry

“Socialist realism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on socialist realism

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!