[ nom-uh-nl-iz-uh m ]
/ ˈnɒm ə nlˌɪz əm /


(in medieval philosophy) the doctrine that general or abstract words do not stand for objectively existing entities and that universals are no more than names assigned to them.Compare conceptualism, realism(def 5a).

Origin of nominalism

From the French word nominalisme, dating back to 1830–40. See nominal, -ism

OTHER WORDS FROM nominalism Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Examples from the Web for nominalism

British Dictionary definitions for nominalism

/ (ˈnɒmɪnəˌlɪzəm) /


the philosophical theory that the variety of objects to which a single general word, such as dog, applies have nothing in common but the nameCompare conceptualism, realism

Derived forms of nominalism

nominalist, noun, adjectivenominalistic, 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