Dictionary.com
definitions
  • synonyms

simplistic

[sim-plis-tik]
See more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
adjective
  1. characterized by extreme simplism; oversimplified: a simplistic notion of good and bad.
Show More

Origin of simplistic

First recorded in 1855–60; simple + -istic
Related formssim·plis·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Can be confusedsimple simplified simplistic (see confusables note at the current entry)

Confusables note

Contrary to what some people believe, simplistic is not a fancy word for simple. Simplistic does not describe things that are easy to understand, deal with, or use. Those sorts of things are simply simple. However, if something is too simple—misleadingly so—then it is correctly called simplistic. An argument that glosses over or omits relevant facts and presents trite, hackneyed, slogan-like statements and sound bites is indeed simplistic.
Simple —unlike simplistic —is a term that can describe not only issues, statements, and arguments, but all manner of things observable by our senses. It can describe art, music, food, clothing—just about anything. And it is a neutral term. That is, if something is said to be simple, that can be considered either a good thing or a bad thing depending upon one’s taste. But the word is very often used positively—as encapsulated in the well-worn creative principle “Less is more”—to describe language that is straightforward and easy to understand, clothing that is not overly elaborate or excessively decorated, or architecture with clean lines. And something simple can be elegant too. To describe such things as simplistic would be an insult to their creators. And it would be ironic to use what one thinks of as a more exotic, ornamental, impressive term to describe something clear or plain and unadorned—something that is, in fact, simple.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for simplistically

Contemporary Examples


British Dictionary definitions for simplistically

simplistic

adjective
  1. characterized by extreme simplicity; naive
  2. oversimplifying complex problems; making unrealistically simple judgments or analyses
Show More
Derived Formssimplism, nounsimplistically, adverb

usage

Since simplistic already has too as part of its meaning, it is tautologous to talk about something being too simplistic or over-simplistic
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

Word Origin and History for simplistically

simplistic

adj.

"simple, plain, not compound," 1844, from simple (adj.) + -istic. From 1867 as "over-simple, trying to explain too much by a single principle." Also (1860) "of or pertaining to simples" (herbs used in healing, medicine of one ingredient only; the notion being that each herb possesses a particular virtue, thus a "simple" remedy), from simplist "one who studies simples" (1590s; see simple (adj.)) + -ic.

Show More
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper