Definition of meliorism in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmiːlɪərɪz(ə)m/


[mass 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.



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.


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.


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

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: meli¦or|ism

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