plu·​ral·​ism ˈplu̇r-ə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce pluralism (audio)
: the holding of two or more offices or positions (such as benefices) at the same time
: the quality or state of being plural
: a theory that there are more than one or more than two kinds of ultimate reality
: a theory that reality is composed of a plurality of entities
: a state of society in which members of diverse ethnic, racial, religious, or social groups maintain and develop their traditional culture or special interest within the confines of a common civilization
: a concept, doctrine, or policy advocating this state
pluralist adjective or noun
pluralistic adjective
pluralistically adverb

Examples of pluralism in a Sentence

He spoke of the benefits of cultural pluralism. She's a champion of pluralism.
Recent Examples on the Web The attack that damaged Odesa’s Fine Arts Museum follows a strike in July on Odesa’s Orthodox Transfiguration Cathedral and is a particular blow to a city that is famous for its history, culture and ethnic pluralism. Matthew Mpoke Bigg, New York Times, 6 Nov. 2023 As the son of a nonviolent activist against British colonial rule, and as a Muslim married to a Hindu, Khan has been a popular symbol of pluralism that the Hindu right has long found irksome. Vaibhav Vats, The Atlantic, 29 Oct. 2023 Since then, the Chamber has softened its rhetoric, in keeping with the conservative trend of rephrasing unpopular positions in the language of pluralism. Timothy Noah, The New Republic, 26 Oct. 2023 Policy-makers should promote genuine pluralism within American higher education rather than using heavy-handed regulations to impose uniformity. Nathan A. Berkeley, National Review, 3 Oct. 2023 The joint message from presidential centers, foundations and institutes emphasized the need for compassion, tolerance and pluralism while urging Americans to respect democratic institutions and uphold secure and accessible elections. Gary Fields, USA TODAY, 8 Sep. 2023 America is a delicate experiment of a multiracial, multireligious, multi-factional democracy, and pluralism — recognizing and validating difference — has always been crucial to fulfilling its promise. Justin Gest, National Review, 4 July 2023 The movement’s focus on quantifiable cost-benefit analysis may need to be matched with less measurable values, like intellectual humility and pluralism. Erika Page, The Christian Science Monitor, 12 Dec. 2022 Perhaps above all, Victory City is a love song to pluralism: to diversity and Vive la différence. Jay Nordlinger, National Review, 3 Apr. 2023 See More

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

1772, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pluralism was in 1772

Dictionary Entries Near pluralism

Cite this Entry

“Pluralism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2023.

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