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

Other Words from universalism

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

Examples of universalism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Yet race or colonial studies research departments don't exist in French universities, because they are seen as contrary to French universalism. Arno Pedram, ajc, 21 Apr. 2022 What was distinctive about the BBC was its universalism and its intention to improve people’s lives. Sam Knight, The New Yorker, 11 Apr. 2022 Publicly, this involved a rhetoric of universalism, the exaggerated spectre of vacant museums, and diversionary offers of developmental assistance. Julian Lucas, The New Yorker, 14 Apr. 2022 But French universalism has become its own very specific particularism. Rachel Donadio, The Atlantic, 22 Nov. 2021 That remains a valuable warning against the naive universalism in the idea that history is inexorably marching toward the triumph of U.S.-style democracy. Samuel Goldman, The Week, 20 Oct. 2021 The occasion was political, of course, coming in an election season and at a moment when French people of color are questioning the disjuncture between the national creed of universalism and their experiences of racial discrimination. Lauren Collins, The New Yorker, 5 Dec. 2021 The French establishment sees laïcité as a core proposition of universalism and of the république—a way of preventing social fracture. Rachel Donadio, The Atlantic, 22 Nov. 2021 The watchword is universalism, referring to an abstract notion of citizenship to which all must subscribe. Rachel Donadio, The Atlantic, 22 Nov. 2021 See More

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.

First Known Use of universalism

1722, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

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The first known use of universalism was in 1722

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Last Updated

2 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Universalism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/universalism. Accessed 23 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on universalism

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about universalism


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