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Word of the Day
Friday, November 21, 2014

Definitions for bovarism

  1. an exaggerated, especially glamorized, estimate of oneself; conceit.

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Citations for bovarism
Today, Bovarism is understood to mean fleeing tedium and melancholy into an impossible world of dreams, but there is still no consensus over whether Emma deserves sympathy for trying to break free from the 19th-century bourgeois con[s]traints or merits condemnation for going to any length to fulfill her desires. Alad Riding, "It's 'Bovary.' It's French. Don't Expect Harmony." New York Times, April 9, 1991
I do not believe that any writer has ever exposed this bovarysme, the human will to see things as they are not, more clearly than Shakespeare. T.S. Eliot, "Shakespeare and the Stoicism of Seneca," Selected Essays, 1932
Origin of bovarism
1900-1905
Bovarism is derived from the name of the titular character in Gustave Flaubert's 1857 novel, Madame Bovary. The theory of bovarysm was developed by the French philosopher Jules de Gaultier; the term entered English the early 1900s.