uni·​ver·​sal·​ism ˌyü-nə-ˈvər-sə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce universalism (audio)
often capitalized
: a theological doctrine that all human beings will eventually be saved
: 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
: something that is universal in scope
: the state of being universal : universality
universalist noun or adjective often capitalized

Examples of universalism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Brustein’s universalism grew ornerier and more claustrophobic with age. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 8 Nov. 2023 These are people who reject universalism—the conviction that certain ideas and principles have a universal value that transcends nations, borders, bloodlines. Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 13 Oct. 2023 Wyatt sat down with Billboard earlier this year to talk about her new music, her time behind bars and the bittersweet universalism of a broken heart. Dave Brooks, Billboard, 3 Aug. 2023 Wealth gains have been radically unequal within and across societies, and the underlying aspirations of liberal universalism have led to costly and failed military interventions. Patrick Porter, Foreign Affairs, 13 Oct. 2020 Another reason, and perhaps the most deeply rooted, is the French ideal of universalism—the notion that one’s identity as a French citizen transcends race, gender, and religion. Charlotte Kilpatrick, The New Republic, 3 July 2023 Race was a taboo topic for decades in France, which is officially committed to a doctrine of colorblind universalism. John Leicester, Sylvie Corbet and Lewis Joly, Anchorage Daily News, 2 July 2023 The concept of universalism once defined the left; international solidarity was its watchword. Time, 27 June 2023 In its crusading universalism, it could be regarded by other states, with ample supporting evidence, as at best recklessly meddlesome and at worst messianically interventionist. Matthew Gavin Frank, Harper's Magazine, 3 May 2023 See More

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

1722, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of universalism was in 1722

Dictionary Entries Near universalism

Cite this Entry

“Universalism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/universalism. Accessed 6 Dec. 2023.

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