1. a person who follows or favors modern ways, tendencies, etc.
  2. a person who advocates the study of modern subjects in preference to ancient classics.
  3. an adherent of modernism in theological questions.
  1. of modernists or modernism.

Origin of modernist

First recorded in 1580–90; modern + -ist
Related formsan·ti·mod·ern·ist, noun, adjectivehy·per·mod·ern·ist, nounpro·mod·ern·ist, adjective, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for modernist

Contemporary Examples of modernist

Historical Examples of modernist

  • It is always easy to be a modernist, as it is easy to be a snob.

    A Chesterton Calendar

    G. K. Chesterton

  • We have given our reasons for rejecting the Modernist attempt at reconstruction.

    Painted Windows

    Harold Begbie

  • It is always easy to be a modernist; as it is easy to be a snob.


    G. K. Chesterton

  • The blackbird is the modernist who has become blas, mentally and spiritually empty.

  • Even Gideon was becoming less attentive when the modernist expounded the new freedom.

    The Wrong Twin

    Harry Leon Wilson

Word Origin and History for modernist

1580s, "a modern person," from modern + -ist. Later, "a supporter of the modern" (as opposed to the classical), c.1700. As a follower of a movement in the arts (modernism), attested from 1927.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper