- treatment of forms, colors, space, etc., in such a manner as to emphasize their correspondence to actuality or to ordinary visual experience.Compare idealism (def. 4), naturalism (def. 2).
- (usually initial capital letter) a style of painting and sculpture developed about the mid-19th century in which figures and scenes are depicted as they are experienced or might be experienced in everyday life.
- a manner of treating subject matter that presents a careful description of everyday life, usually of the lower and middle classes.
- a theory of writing in which the ordinary, familiar, or mundane aspects of life are represented in a straightforward or matter-of-fact manner that is presumed to reflect life as it actually is.Compare naturalism (def. 1b).
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Example sentences from the Web for realism
There was also an off-putting conflict between whimsy and realism.‘Peter Pan Live!’ Review: No Amount of Clapping Brings It to Life|Kevin Fallon|December 5, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Interpreted more broadly, the phrase loses meaning: what constitutes the necessary threshold of realism?
He somehow manages to balance faith, realism, optimism, the news of the day, and the fate of the human race.Martin Luther King’s Nobel Speech Is an Often Ignored Masterpiece|Malcolm Jones|October 16, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Yet American minimalism, isolationism, realism, mind-our-own-business-ism—whatever you want to call it—is cyclical.
I loved his blend of Native American realism with just a touch of surrealism.Sherman Alexie on His New Film, the Redskins, and Why It's OK to Laugh at His Work|William O’Connor|August 22, 2014|DAILY BEAST
As we said at the outset, what is most striking about this poem is its realism.Frdric Mistral|Charles Alfred Downer
He was a great tragic artist in the rough, and his comedy displays an uncouth Rabelaisian realism.Renaissance in Italy: Italian Literature|John Addington Symonds
The great continental leaders of realism—Tolstoi, Zola, Ibsen—have been tainted with a fatal pessimism.Elementary Guide to Literary Criticism|F. V. N. Painter
Theism is to these spiritual powers what Realism has been to material powers.The Philosophy of Natural Theology|William Jackson
The details of the life in the Peckham draper's are made interesting to the reader by the sheer force of their realism….Love and the Ironmonger|F. J. (Frederick John) Randall
British Dictionary definitions for realism
Cultural definitions for realism (1 of 2)
An approach to philosophy that regards external objects as the most fundamentally real things, with perceptions or ideas as secondary. Realism is thus opposed to idealism. Materialism and naturalism are forms of realism. The term realism is also used to describe a movement in literature that attempts to portray life as it is.
Cultural definitions for realism (2 of 2)
An attempt to make art and literature resemble life. Realist painters and writers take their subjects from the world around them (instead of from idealized subjects, such as figures in mythology or folklore) and try to represent them in a lifelike manner.