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[doo-uh-liz-uh m, dyoo-] /ˈdu əˌlɪz əm, ˈdyu-/
the state of being dual or consisting of two parts; division into two.
  1. the view that there are just two mutually irreducible substances.
    Compare monism, pluralism.
  2. the view that substances are either material or mental.
  1. the doctrine that there are two independent divine beings or eternal principles, one good and the other evil.
  2. the belief that a human being embodies two parts, as body and soul.
Origin of dualism
First recorded in 1785-95; dual + -ism
Related forms
dualist, noun, adjective
nondualism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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British Dictionary definitions for dualism


the state of being twofold or double
(philosophy) the doctrine, as opposed to idealism and materialism, that reality consists of two basic types of substance usually taken to be mind and matter or two basic types of entity, mental and physical Compare monism
  1. the theory that the universe has been ruled from its origins by two conflicting powers, one good and one evil, both existing as equally ultimate first causes
  2. the theory that there are two personalities, one human and one divine, in Christ
Derived Forms
dualist, noun
dualistic, adjective
dualistically, adverb
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 dualism

1755 as a term in philosophy, from French dualisme (1754); also used in theological senses; see dual + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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dualism in Medicine

dualism du·al·ism (dōō'ə-lĭz'əm, dyōō'-)

  1. The theory that blood cells have two origins, from the lymphatic system and from the bone marrow.

  2. The view in psychology that the mind and body function separately, without interchange.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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dualism in Culture

dualism definition

In philosophy and theology, any system that explains phenomena by two opposing principles. Many philosophers hold to a dualism of mind and matter, or mind and body. For many theologians, the two principles are those of good and evil.

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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