a person who tends to view or represent things as they really are.
an artist or a writer whose work is characterized by realism.
Philosophy. an adherent of realism.


of or relating to realism or to a person who embodies its principles or practices: the realist approach to social ills; realist paintings.

Origin of realist

1595–1605; real1 + -ist; compare French réaliste
Related formsan·ti·re·al·ist, noun, adjectivehy·per·re·al·ist, nounnon·re·al·ist, nounpro·re·al·ist, adjective, nounul·tra·re·al·ist, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for realist

naturalist, rationalist

Examples from the Web for realist

Contemporary Examples of realist

Historical Examples of realist

  • Captain Feldman was a realist but he was also a deeply moral man.


    Jerome Bixby

  • "They don't have much choice," Captain Feldman said, always the realist.


    Jerome Bixby

  • In the first place, it does not mean that Greek art is what we call ‘naturalist’ or ‘realist’.

  • "I believe you are a realist, Henry," said his wife playfully.

  • It was dear to the Realist, and it is dear to the Symbolist.

    The Children

    Alice Meynell

British Dictionary definitions for realist



a person who is aware of and accepts the physical universe, events, etc, as they are; pragmatist
an artist or writer who seeks to represent the familiar or typical in real life rather than an idealized, formalized, or romantic interpretation
philosophy a person who accepts realism
(modifier) of, relating to, or characteristic of realism or realists in the arts, philosophy, etca realist school
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 realist

c.1600, in philosophy, from real (adj.) + -ist, and cf. French réaliste. Also see realism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper