- total rejection of established laws and institutions.
- anarchy, terrorism, or other revolutionary activity.
- total and absolute destructiveness, especially toward the world at large and including oneself: the power-mad nihilism that marked Hitler's last years.
- an extreme form of skepticism: the denial of all real existence or the possibility of an objective basis for truth.
- nothingness or nonexistence.
- (sometimes initial capital letter) the principles of a Russian revolutionary group, active in the latter half of the 19th century, holding that existing social and political institutions must be destroyed in order to clear the way for a new state of society and employing extreme measures, including terrorism and assassination.
- annihilation of the self, or the individual consciousness, especially as an aspect of mystical experience.
Origin of nihilism
Examples from the Web for nihilist
And that fact means we should expect even more shenanigans from the nihilist wing of the GOP.Why the GOP’s Shutdown Insanity Won’t Hurt the Right Wing
September 20, 2013
You guessed rightly when you said that I am not a nihilist at heart.
Was it the princess who informed you that Durnief was a nihilist?
If I should become a nihilist, it would be to protect the emperor, not to betray your friends.
Then you never had such a thought until you knew I was a nihilist?
I have already mentioned it as often given by a nihilist to one whom he believes may be one with him.
- a complete denial of all established authority and institutions
- philosophy an extreme form of scepticism that systematically rejects all values, belief in existence, the possibility of communication, etc
- a revolutionary doctrine of destruction for its own sake
- the practice or promulgation of terrorism
- (in tsarist Russia) any of several revolutionary doctrines that upheld terrorism
Word Origin and History for nihilist
1836 in the religious or philosophical sense, from French nihiliste, from Latin nihil (see nihilism). In the Russian political sense, it is recorded from 1871. Related: Nihilistic.
1817, "the doctrine of negation" (in reference to religion or morals), from German Nihilismus, from Latin nihil "nothing at all" (see nil), coined by German philosopher Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (1743-1819). In philosophy, an extreme form of skepticism (1836). The political sense was first used by German journalist Joseph von Görres (1776-1848). Turgenev used the Russian form of the word (nigilizm) in "Fathers and Children" (1862) and claimed to have invented it. With a capital N-, it refers to the Russian revolutionary anarchism of the period 1860-1917, supposedly so called because "nothing" that then existed found favor in their eyes.
- The belief that destruction of existing political or social institutions is necessary for future improvement.
- A delusion, experienced in some mental disorders, that the world or one's mind, body, or self does not exist.