Share this entry

Share this page

meliorism

Syllabification: mel·io·rism
Pronunciation: /ˈmēlyəˌrizəm
 
/

Definition of meliorism in English:

noun

Philosophy
The belief that the world can be made better by human effort.
Example sentences
  • The dominant philosophy of statecraft has become a form of pragmatic meliorism with markets and Western democratic institutions as the chosen means for improving our lives.
  • The prevailing pessimism of the cycle is relieved by passages of lyrical beauty and by faith in scientific and social meliorism.
  • Orwell's theoretically skeptical prophetic meliorism resonates with much in Christianity, and especially Catholicism.

Origin

late 19th century: from Latin melior 'better' + -ism.

Derivatives

meliorist

1
noun& adjective
Example sentences
  • Rejecting the quest for absolute certainty, it takes a meliorist attitude that human action sometimes can improve the world.
  • However, there is another option, often adopted in the liberal mainstream, which is based on a meliorist view of progress, and in principle always leans in the pacific direction.
  • One needn't be a global meliorist to contest her charge.

melioristic

2
Pronunciation: /ˌmelēəˈristik/
adjective
Example sentences
  • His melioristic fervor endeared him to moralists of genteel persuasion.
  • And while she plainly admires the effort of idealistic men and women trying to help others, she also knows that, in the end, imperial conquest is anything but melioristic in its course.
  • Without any conscious program at all the beginning of plant domestication started a melioristic process.

Definition of meliorism in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day tenebrous
Pronunciation: ˈtɛnɪbrəs
adjective
dark; shadowy or obscure