[ meel-yuh-riz-uh m, mee-lee-uh- ]
/ ˈmil yəˌrɪz əm, ˈmi li ə- /


the doctrine that the world tends to become better or may be made better by human effort.

Origin of meliorism

1855–60; < Latin melior better + -ism
Related formsmel·io·rist, noun, adjectivemel·io·ris·tic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for meliorism

British Dictionary definitions for meliorism


/ (ˈmiːlɪəˌrɪzəm) /


the notion that the world can be improved by human effort
Derived Formsmeliorist, adjective, nounmelioristic, adjective

Word Origin for meliorism

C19: from Latin melior better
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 meliorism



"belief that the world tends to become better," 1868, from Latin melior (see meliorate) + -ism. Related: Meliorist (1835).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper