[ meel-yuh-riz-uhm, mee-lee-uh- ]
See synonyms for meliorism on
  1. 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

Other words from meliorism

  • mel·io·rist, noun, adjective
  • mel·io·ris·tic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use meliorism in a sentence

  • I don't know that I ever heard anybody use the word "meliorist" except myself.

  • Idealists may feel empty and despairing when confronted by the naked truth, but the meliorist feels an inexpressible calm.

    The Growth of a Soul | August Strindberg
  • She held to the middle term, which she invented for herself, of "meliorist."

  • A pessimist in contemplation, he remains a meliorist in action.

    Little Eyolf | Henrik Ibsen
  • The meliorist attitude, on the contrary, is rather to say, "Much is wrong; much painful; what can we do to improve it?"

British Dictionary definitions for meliorism


/ (ˈmiːlɪəˌrɪzəm) /

  1. the notion that the world can be improved by human effort

Origin of meliorism

C19: from Latin melior better

Derived forms of meliorism

  • meliorist, adjective, noun
  • melioristic, 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