realism

[ ree-uh-liz-uh m ]
/ ˈri əˌlɪz əm /
|

noun

interest in or concern for the actual or real, as distinguished from the abstract, speculative, etc.
the tendency to view or represent things as they really are.
Fine Arts.
  1. 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).
  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.
Literature.
  1. a manner of treating subject matter that presents a careful description of everyday life, usually of the lower and middle classes.
  2. 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).
Philosophy.
  1. the doctrine that universals have a real objective existence.Compare conceptualism, nominalism.
  2. the doctrine that objects of sense perception have an existence independent of the act of perception.Compare idealism(def 5a).

Origin of realism

1810–20; real1 + -ism; compare French réalisme
Related forms
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for realisms

  • If his love-story was not as affecting as Paul and Virginia, it had its realisms that compensated for some pathos.

    Luttrell Of Arran|Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for realisms

realism

/ (ˈrɪəˌlɪzəm) /

noun

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 realisms

realism


n.

1794, from real (adj.) + -ism; after French réalisme or German Realismus; from Late Latin realis "real." Opposed to idealism in philosophy, art, etc. In reference to scholastic doctrine of Thomas Aquinas (opposed to nominalism) it is recorded from 1826. Meaning "close resemblance to the scene" (in art, literature, etc., often with reference to unpleasant details) is attested from 1856.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Culture definitions for realisms (1 of 2)

realism


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.

Culture definitions for realisms (2 of 2)

realism


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.

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.