• synonyms


[pyoo r-iz-uh m]
See more synonyms for purism on Thesaurus.com
  1. strict observance of or insistence on purity in language, style, etc.
  2. an instance of this.
  3. (often initial capital letter) Fine Arts. a style of art developed in France in the early 20th century, characterized by the use of simple geometric forms and images evocative of objects produced by machine.
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Origin of purism

First recorded in 1795–1805; pure + -ism
Related formspur·ist, nounpu·ris·tic, pu·ris·ti·cal, adjectivepu·ris·ti·cal·ly, adverbhy·per·pur·ist, nounnon·pu·ris·tic, adjectiveun·pu·ris·tic, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words


Examples from the Web for purism

Historical Examples

  • Such a doctrine is a doctrine of puritanism—or purism, which is worse.

    The Bertrams

    Anthony Trollope

  • The origin of this terminology seems to me to lie in a bit of purism.

  • The simplicity and purism of the tea-room resulted from emulation of the Zen monastery.

    The Book of Tea

    Kakuzo Okakura

  • The third party took the name of Peter, or Cephas, as in their Hebrew purism they preferred to call him.

  • But this was not so much a matter of purism, but rather the old quarrel between Lombards and Tuscans.

British Dictionary definitions for purism


  1. insistence on traditional canons of correctness of form or purity of style or content, esp in language, art, or music
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Derived Formspurist, adjective, nounpuristic, adjectivepuristically, 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

Word Origin and History for purism


1803, of language, from French purisme (see purist + -ism). As a movement in art from 1921.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper