vitalism

noun
vi·​tal·​ism | \ ˈvī-tə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce vitalism (audio) \

Definition of vitalism

1 : a doctrine that the functions of a living organism are due to a vital principle distinct from physicochemical forces
2 : a doctrine that the processes of life are not explicable by the laws of physics and chemistry alone and that life is in some part self-determining

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from vitalism

vitalist \ ˈvī-​tə-​list How to pronounce vitalist (audio) \ noun or adjective
vitalistic \ ˌvī-​tə-​ˈli-​stik How to pronounce vitalistic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of vitalism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web During that Algiers Motel purgatory, the Motown vitalism (and its implied orgiastic decadence) is interrupted by a John Coltrane jazz record. Armond White, National Review, "Kathryn Bigelow Does the Wrong Thing in Detroit," 4 Aug. 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'vitalism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of vitalism

1822, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about vitalism

Time Traveler for vitalism

Time Traveler

The first known use of vitalism was in 1822

See more words from the same year

Statistics for vitalism

Cite this Entry

“Vitalism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/vitalism. Accessed 15 Aug. 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for vitalism

vitalism

noun
vi·​tal·​ism | \ ˈvīt-ᵊl-ˌiz-əm How to pronounce vitalism (audio) \

Medical Definition of vitalism

1 : a doctrine that the functions of a living organism are due to a vital principle distinct from physicochemical forces
2 : a doctrine that the processes of life are not explicable by the laws of physics and chemistry alone and that life is in some part self-determining

More from Merriam-Webster on vitalism

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about vitalism

Comments on vitalism

What made you want to look up vitalism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Thing: Animal Edition

  • alt 5a023732e6f75
  • Name that animal:
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Add Diction

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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