[kal-vuh-niz-uh m]


the doctrines and teachings of John Calvin or his followers, emphasizing predestination, the sovereignty of God, the supreme authority of the Scriptures, and the irresistibility of grace.Compare Arminianism.
adherence to these doctrines.

Origin of Calvinism

First recorded in 1560–70; Calvin + -ism
Related formsCal·vin·ist, noun, adjectiveCal·vin·is·tic, adjectiveCal·vin·is·ti·cal·ly, adverban·ti-Cal·vin·ism, nounan·ti-Cal·vin·ist, noun, adjectivean·ti-Cal·vin·is·tic, adjectivenon-Cal·vin·ist, noun, adjectivenon-Cal·vin·is·tic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for calvinism

Contemporary Examples of calvinism

  • “Positive thinking starts in the 19th century as a somewhat reasonable response to Calvinism,” she explained.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Why Are You So Damn Happy?

    Megan Hustad

    October 15, 2009

Historical Examples of calvinism

  • He persevered in Calvinism after the recantation of the King.

    The Memoirs of Madame de Montespan, Complete

    Madame La Marquise De Montespan

  • Calvinism remained the only religion permitted in Holland and Zeeland.


    Emile Cammaerts

  • They insisted upon p. 139distinguishing between the tenets of Jansen and Calvinism.


    John Tulloch

  • The sequel will show how earnestly Pascal disclaims Calvinism.


    John Tulloch

  • Nor could Calvinism have found a home across the northern border.

British Dictionary definitions for calvinism



the theological system of John Calvin and his followers, characterized by emphasis on the doctrines of predestination, the irresistibility of grace, and justification by faith
Derived FormsCalvinist, noun, adjectiveCalvinistic or Calvinistical, adjective
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 calvinism



1560s, from John Calvin (1509-1564), Protestant reformer, + -ism. Alternative form Calvinian was in use in 1566. Generalized association with stern moral codes and predestination is attested since at least 1853. Related: Calvinist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

calvinism in Culture


The religious doctrines of John Calvin. Calvin stressed that people are saved through God's grace, not through their own merits. The most famous of Calvin's ideas is his doctrine of predestination. In the United States, the Presbyterians make up the largest single group of Christians (see also Christian) in the Calvinist tradition.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.