[an-uh-muh-liz-uh m]
See more synonyms for animalism on
  1. preoccupation with or motivation by sensual, physical, or carnal appetites rather than moral, spiritual, or intellectual forces.
  2. 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. 2018

Related Words for animalism

animality, sensuality

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


  1. satisfaction of or preoccupation with physical matters; sensuality
  2. the doctrine or belief that man lacks a spiritual nature
  3. 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