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[kal-vuh-niz-uh m] /ˈkæl vəˌnɪz əm/
the doctrines and teachings of John Calvin or his followers, emphasizing predestination, the sovereignty of God, the supreme authority of the Scriptures, and the irresistibility of grace.
Compare Arminianism.
adherence to these doctrines.
Origin of Calvinism
First recorded in 1560-70; Calvin + -ism
Related forms
Calvinist, noun, adjective
Calvinistic, adjective
Calvinistically, adverb
anti-Calvinism, noun
anti-Calvinist, noun, adjective
anti-Calvinistic, adjective
non-Calvinist, noun, adjective
non-Calvinistic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Calvinism
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • He persevered in Calvinism after the recantation of the King.

    The Memoirs of Madame de Montespan, Complete Madame La Marquise De Montespan
  • Calvinism remained the only religion permitted in Holland and Zeeland.


    Emile Cammaerts
  • They insisted upon p. 139distinguishing between the tenets of Jansen and Calvinism.

    Pascal John Tulloch
  • The sequel will show how earnestly Pascal disclaims Calvinism.

    Pascal John Tulloch
  • Nor could Calvinism have found a home across the northern border.

    History of the English People John Richard Green
  • And meanwhile the Calvinism she hated was growing bolder and bolder about her.

    History of the English People John Richard Green
  • There were “Conferences on Calvinism,” of which an abstract is preserved.

  • When I was a boy, I always associated Calvinism and calomel together.

    Backlog Studies Charles Dudley Warner
  • Calvinism was pure agnosticism; and she had been educated a Calvinist.

    Daughters of the Puritans Seth Curtis Beach
British Dictionary definitions for Calvinism


the theological system of John Calvin and his followers, characterized by emphasis on the doctrines of predestination, the irresistibility of grace, and justification by faith
Derived Forms
Calvinist, noun, adjective
Calvinistic, Calvinistical, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for Calvinism

1560s, from John Calvin (1509-1564), Protestant reformer, + -ism. Alternative form Calvinian was in use in 1566. Generalized association with stern moral codes and predestination is attested since at least 1853. Related: Calvinist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Calvinism in Culture

Calvinism definition

The religious doctrines of John Calvin. Calvin stressed that people are saved through God's grace, not through their own merits. The most famous of Calvin's ideas is his doctrine of predestination. In the United States, the Presbyterians make up the largest single group of Christians in the Calvinist tradition.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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