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 universalism (audio) \ noun or adjective, often capitalized

Examples of universalism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web As such, Lincoln’s conception of civic virtue is a kind of universalism. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, "Self-Interest Is Not Enough: Lincoln’s Classical Revision of the Founding," 18 Sep. 2020 Whatever the metaphor, there is always a need to push our thinking toward universalism. The Salt Lake Tribune, "Commentary: Pope Francis’ new papal encyclical could be derailed by its seemingly sexist title," 8 Sep. 2020 The hardest questions, the deepest conflicts between past and present, identity and universalism, aren’t resolved or even addressed in its 90-minute running time. Ross Douthat, National Review, "An American Pickle: Seth Rogen’s Traditionalist Comedy," 20 Aug. 2020 For Cowles, the salient features of Darwin’s method are its naturalism and universalism: Darwin understood his method as common not only to all human thought and creation but to living nature itself. Jessica Riskin, The New York Review of Books, "Just Use Your Thinking Pump!," 17 June 2020 The universalism of this challenge, revealed in Johnson’s illness, is its most novel feature. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, "The Meaning of Boris Johnson’s Illness," 27 Mar. 2020 Rather than engage in political evangelism, the EU is giving up on universalism, even though civilisation-states naturally tend to be expansive. The Economist, "Charlemagne Huntington’s disease and the clash of civilisation-states," 2 Jan. 2020 Both historians recognize that liberal universalism cannot sustain itself, because the cerebral sense of the nation ultimately descends into an identity politics that is just as tribal as the visceral sense. Grayson Logue, National Review, "A Nation without a Chest," 10 Aug. 2019 Meacham and Lepore are not alone in their concern for the idea of the nation that avoids tribalism and universalism. Grayson Logue, National Review, "A Nation without a Chest," 10 Aug. 2019

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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The first known use of universalism was in 1722

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Cite this Entry

“Universalism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/universalism. Accessed 27 Jan. 2021.

More from Merriam-Webster on universalism

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about universalism

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