[an-uh-muh-liz-uh m]


preoccupation with or motivation by sensual, physical, or carnal appetites rather than moral, spiritual, or intellectual forces.
the theory that human beings lack a spiritual nature.


Origin of animalism

First recorded in 1825–35; animal(ize) + -ism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for animalism

Historical Examples of animalism

  • And it is touching and attractive because of the animalism of its frankness and simplicity.

    A Spirit in Prison

    Robert Hichens

  • There was animalism in the soul, and the body had its moments of spirituality.

  • Instantly, animalism was aroused, the passions were inflamed.

    The Easiest Way

    Eugene Walter and Arthur Hornblow

  • The lust of Gold had its devils, and they were not different from other types of animalism.

    Demonology and Devil-lore

    Moncure Daniel Conway

  • All man needs is a true mirror in which his own animalism may see itself.

    Demonology and Devil-lore

    Moncure Daniel Conway

British Dictionary definitions for animalism



satisfaction of or preoccupation with physical matters; sensuality
the doctrine or belief that man lacks a spiritual nature
a trait or mode of behaviour typical of animals
Derived Formsanimalist, 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

Word Origin and History for animalism

"the doctrine that man is a mere animal," 1857, from animal + -ism. Earlier, "exercise of animal faculties; physical exercise" (1831).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper