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primitivism

[prim-i-ti-viz-uh m]
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noun
  1. a recurrent theory or belief, as in philosophy or art, that the qualities of primitive or chronologically early cultures are superior to those of contemporary civilization.
  2. the state of being primitive: the primitivism of the Stone Age peoples.
  3. the qualities or style characterizing primitive art.
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Origin of primitivism

First recorded in 1860–65; primitive + -ism
Related formsprim·i·tiv·ist, nounprim·i·tiv·is·tic, adjectiveun·prim·i·tiv·is·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for primitivism

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • And this theory is the excuse for all the attempts at primitivism of which we have lately seen so much.

  • In an age when a fog of dreary sameness comes over all the civilised world, the Balkans have a great asset in their primitivism.

  • A land of hills, of black forests and shining rivers; a land uncultivated but rich in promise, magnificent in its primitivism.

    The Avenger

    E. Phillips Oppenheim


British Dictionary definitions for primitivism

primitivism

noun
  1. the condition of being primitive
  2. the notion that the value of primitive cultures is superior to that of the modern world
  3. the principles, characteristics, etc, of primitive art and artists
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Derived Formsprimitivist, noun, adjectiveprimitivistic, 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

Word Origin and History for primitivism

n.

1861, from primitive + -ism. Related: Primitivist.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

primitivism in Culture

primitivism

A style of art that attempts to imitate the art of primitive cultures or of children.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.