uni·​ver·​sal·​ism | \ ˌyü-nə-ˈvər-sə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce universalism (audio) \

Definition of universalism

1 often capitalized

a : a theological doctrine that all human beings will eventually be saved
b : the principles and practices of a liberal Christian denomination founded in the 18th century originally to uphold belief in universal salvation and now united with Unitarianism
2 : something that is universal in scope
3 : the state of being universal : universality

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Other Words from universalism

universalist \ ˌyü-​nə-​ˈvər-​s(ə-​)list How to pronounce universalist (audio) \ noun or adjective, often capitalized

Examples of universalism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But are particularism and universalism our only options? Martin Peretz, WSJ, "Let’s Get the U.N. Out of the U.S.," 28 Sep. 2018 Of course, the criticisms of this blanket condemnation of men — from transnational feminists who decry such glib universalism to U.S. women of color who demand an intersectional perspective — are mostly on the mark. Andrew Sullivan, Daily Intelligencer, "Trump Is Making Us All Live in His Delusional Reality Show," 15 June 2018 There have always been tensions between liberal universalism and Jewish nationalism. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "Natalie Portman and the Crisis of Liberal Zionism," 26 Apr. 2018 In pockets of the contemporary left, there is an allergy to such universalism; or, more precisely, to the idea that prioritizing universalist economic reforms is the most effective means of advancing racial justice. Eric Levitz, Daily Intelligencer, "50 Years After His Assassination, We Are No Closer to Realizing MLK’s Most Radical Dream," 4 Apr. 2018 To put the film’s central problem in political terms, Pio is forced to choose between solidarity and identity, between friendship and blood, between universalism and tribalism. Jonas Carpignano, New York Times, "Review: In ‘A Ciambra,’ a Young Roma Boy Comes of Age," 18 Jan. 2018 But for most of its history this exceptionalism has been a form of self-regarding universalism; in time, the rest of the world would catch up. The Economist, "Whither nationalism?," 16 Dec. 2017 The attempt to repel Western universalism has been stunningly successful. The Economist, "Whither nationalism?," 16 Dec. 2017 For Berlin, as for Meinecke, there seemed to be no relationship of cause and effect between the war against rationalism, universalism, and natural rights and the war against democracy and its fall in the 20th century. Zeev Sternhell, Slate Magazine, "The Origins of Anti-Intellectualism," 7 Apr. 2017

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

1722, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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Time Traveler for universalism

The first known use of universalism was in 1722

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More from Merriam-Webster on universalism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with universalism

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about universalism

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