[ mod-er-niz-uhm ]
/ ˈmɒd ərˌnɪz əm /
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modern character, tendencies, or values; adherence to or sympathy with what is modern.
a modern usage or characteristic.
(initial capital letter)Theology.
  1. the movement in Roman Catholic thought that sought to interpret the teachings of the Church in the light of philosophic and scientific conceptions prevalent in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: condemned by Pope Pius X in 1907.
  2. the liberal theological tendency in Protestantism in the 20th century.
(sometimes initial capital letter) a deliberate philosophical and practical estrangement or divergence from the past in the arts and literature occurring especially in the course of the 20th century and taking form in any of various innovative movements and styles.



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“Evoke” and “invoke” both derive from the same Latin root “vocāre.”

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Origin of modernism

First recorded in 1730–40; modern + -ism


an·ti·mod·ern·ism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

How to use modernism in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for modernism

/ (ˈmɒdəˌnɪzəm) /


modern tendencies, characteristics, thoughts, etc, or the support of these
something typical of contemporary life or thought
a 20th-century divergence in the arts from previous traditions, esp in architectureSee International Style
(capital) RC Church the movement at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th centuries that sought to adapt doctrine to the supposed requirements of modern thought

Derived forms of modernism

modernist, noun, adjectivemodernistic, adjectivemodernistically, 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