[ rep-ri-zen-tey-shuh-nl-iz-uh m, -zuh n- ]
/ ˌrɛp rɪ zɛnˈteɪ ʃə nlˌɪz əm, -zən- /


Also called representative realism. Epistemology. the view that the objects of perception are ideas or sense data that represent external objects, especially the Lockean doctrine that the perceived idea represents exactly the primary qualities of the external object.
Fine Arts. the practice or principle of representing or depicting an object in a recognizable manner, especially the portrayal of the surface characteristics of an object as they appear to the eye.

Origin of representationalism

First recorded in 1895–1900; representational + -ism

OTHER WORDS FROM representationalism

rep·re·sen·ta·tion·al·ist, nounrep·re·sen·ta·tion·al·is·tic, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

British Dictionary definitions for representationalism



/ (ˌrɛprɪzɛnˈteɪʃənəˌlɪzəm) /


philosophy the doctrine that in perceptions of objects what is before the mind is not the object but a representation of itCompare presentationism, naive realism See also barrier of ideas
fine arts the practice or advocacy of attempting to depict objects, scenes, figures, etc, directly as seen

Derived forms of representationalism

representationalistic, adjectiverepresentationist, noun, 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