[ ad-ven-chuh-riz-uhm ]
/ ædˈvɛn tʃəˌrɪz əm /
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defiance or disregard of accepted standards of behavior.
rash or irresponsible policies, methods, or actions, especially in political or international affairs.
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Origin of adventurism

1835–45; adventure + -ism, as translation of Russian avantyurízm

OTHER WORDS FROM adventurism

ad·ven·tur·ist, nounad·ven·tur·is·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does adventurism mean?

Adventurism is recklessness or risk-taking that disregards accepted standards of behavior. It is often used in political context to refer to rash or reckless policies or military actions.

Unlike adventure and adventurous, which are almost always used positively, adventurism is almost always used negatively. It is typically used in discussion of political policies or actions considered irresponsible and poorly planned or thought out.

Example: The unrest in the region follows decades of imperial adventurism that ignored the balance of power between the different groups.

Where does adventurism come from?

The first records of the word adventurism come from the 1830s. It actually first came to English as a translation of a Russian word (transliterated as avantyurízm). The suffix -ism here is used to indicate an action or practice. Most commonly, adventure means “an exciting or very unusual experience”—like a fun quest you’d see in a movie. But it can also mean “a bold, usually risky undertaking; a hazardous action of uncertain outcome.” It is this second meaning that is indicated by adventurism.

Adventurism is the taking of reckless actions, especially in a political or military context. The word is especially used as a way of criticizing military campaigns that are considered to have been poorly planned or that were started without a long-term strategy. For example, the term has been applied by critics to the military actions of the United States in Vietnam and Iraq.

Adventurism can also be used in a nonpolitical context. A company that tries to develop a new product or target a new market without the proper planning may be criticized for adventurism, especially if that effort is a big failure. Remember, an adventure is usually an exciting thrill ride with a happy ending, but adventurism is the opposite—rash decisions that lead to disaster.

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What are some other forms of adventurism?

  • adventurist (noun)
  • adventuristic (adjective)
  • adventure (noun)

What are some synonyms for adventurism?

What are some words that share a root or word element with adventurism

What are some words that often get used in discussing adventurism?

How is adventurism used in real life?

Although adventurism can be used generally as a term for recklessness in any context, it is most commonly used in a political or military context. It is always used negatively, typically in criticism of such actions.



Try using adventurism!

Which of the following words does not describe adventurism?

A. hasty
B. reckless
C. careless
D. responsible

How to use adventurism in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for adventurism

/ (ədˈvɛntʃəˌrɪzəm) /

recklessness, esp in politics and finance

Derived forms of adventurism

adventurist, noun
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