[ at-uh-miz-uhm ]
/ ˈæt əˌmɪz əm /
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Also called atomic theory. Philosophy. the theory that minute, discrete, finite, and indivisible elements are the ultimate constituents of all matter.
Psychology. a method or theory that reduces all psychological phenomena to simple elements.
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Origin of atomism
First recorded in 1670–80
OTHER WORDS FROM atomismat·om·ist, nounat·om·is·tic, at·om·is·ti·cal, adjectiveat·om·is·ti·cal·ly, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use atomism in a sentence
Such a committee can judge people in full, not as an atomistic collection of receipts and isolated life events.Appoint Real People, Not Saints|Philip K. Howard|March 25, 2009|DAILY BEAST
Its defects lie in its "atomistic view of industry and politics."The I.W.W.|Paul Frederick Brissenden
This atomistic hypothesis goes furthest of all the different views as to the extension of consciousness.
The counter-view put forth in his great work, Leviathan, is commonly called atomistic.History of Modern Philosophy|Alfred William Benn
A deeper insight into the relations prevailing here is offered from the atomistic point of view.
In the first place we have to get rid of the overpowering influence of an atomistic psychology.Determinism or Free-Will?|Chapman Cohen
British Dictionary definitions for atomism
/ (ˈætəˌmɪzəm) /
an ancient philosophical theory, developed by Democritus and expounded by Lucretius, that the ultimate constituents of the universe are atomsSee atom (def. 3)
- any of a number of theories that hold that some objects or phenomena can be explained as constructed out of a small number of distinct types of simple indivisible entities
- any theory that holds that an understanding of the parts is logically prior to an understanding of the wholeCompare holism (def. 3)
psychol the theory that experiences and mental states are composed of elementary units
Derived forms of atomismatomist, noun, adjectiveatomistic or atomistical, adjectiveatomistically, adverb
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