1. a person who tends to view or represent things as they really are.
  2. an artist or a writer whose work is characterized by realism.
  3. Philosophy. an adherent of realism.
  1. of or relating to realism or to a person who embodies its principles or practices: the realist approach to social ills; realist paintings.

Origin of realist

1595–1605; real1 + -ist; compare French réaliste
Related formsan·ti·re·al·ist, noun, adjectivehy·per·re·al·ist, nounnon·re·al·ist, nounpro·re·al·ist, adjective, nounul·tra·re·al·ist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for antirealist


  1. a person who is aware of and accepts the physical universe, events, etc, as they are; pragmatist
  2. an artist or writer who seeks to represent the familiar or typical in real life rather than an idealized, formalized, or romantic interpretation
  3. philosophy a person who accepts realism
  4. (modifier) of, relating to, or characteristic of realism or realists in the arts, philosophy, etca realist school
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 antirealist



c.1600, in philosophy, from real (adj.) + -ist, and cf. French réaliste. Also see realism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper