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 (mēl′yə-rĭz′əm, mē′lē-ə-)
1. The belief that the human condition can be improved through concerted effort.
2. The belief that there is an inherent tendency toward progress or improvement in the human condition.

[Latin melior, better; see mel- in Indo-European roots + -ism.]

mel′io·rist n.
mel′io·ris′tic adj.


(Philosophy) the notion that the world can be improved by human effort
[C19: from Latin melior better]
ˈmeliorist adj, n
ˌmelioˈristic adj


(ˈmil yəˌrɪz əm, ˈmi li ə-)

the doctrine that the world tends to become better or may be made better by human effort.
[1855–60; < Latin melior better + -ism]
mel′io•rist, n., adj.


the doctrine that the world tends to become better of itself, or that it may improve more rapidly by proper human assistance. Cf. optimism, pessimism.meliorist, n.melioristic, adj.
See also: Philosophy
the doctrine that the world tends to get better or may be made better by human effort. — meliorist, n., adj. — melioristic, adj.
See also: Improvement
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.meliorism - the belief that the world can be made better by human effortmeliorism - the belief that the world can be made better by human effort
belief - any cognitive content held as true
References in periodicals archive ?
As described by Keith Stanovich, the "so-called Meliorists .
We were among the last of the Utopians, or meliorists as they are sometimes called, who believe in a continuing moral progress by virtue of which the human race already consists of reliable, rational, decent people, influenced by truth and objective standards.
Kliebard's (2004) four interest groups that collided in the Struggle for the American Curriculum, 1893-1958: (1) the social efficiency educators, who believed the focus of schools should prepare students for their future vocations with the efficiency of a factory model; (2) the humanists, who thought that education's central concern was developing reasoning power in children; (3) the social meliorists, who believed education was first and foremost a tool for societal reform; and (4) the developmentalists, who sought a curriculum that focused primarily on students' needs and interests.
And every one of those 214 pages is laced with poison for social-scientific meliorists and high-minded newspaper editors who claim to "understand" politics or, worse, suggest ways in which it might be "improved.
Other models of classes typically referred to as fusion courses were tested, which dismayed the meliorists because they frequently consisted of fragments of different subjects without a theme centering on actual social circumstances of life.
46) Until after World War I the meliorists dominated the Social Catholic movement, apart from a few isolated scholars and academicians .
At the same time that he works out the contours of a distinctively American fin de siecle, Horowitz shows us four "democratic meliorists of religious temperament whose complicated lives, embodying a fluid cultural moment, remain inspirational" (p.
varios de los actores implicados en la educacion (cuatro grandes grupos de actores: humanists, developmentalist, social meliorists y social efficiency educators) entendieron que la mejor forma de solucionar los problemas sociales a los que se enfrentaba la nueva sociedad era a traves de regenerar el sistema educativo y en concreto su curriculum.
There is no easy way, starting from that premise, to account for evidence that the people are tuning out or even standing up to liberal meliorists, whose purpose in life is standing up for them against the powerful.
Meliorists like George Eliot, or James Sully, or (in his own account) Hardy took the view that the world was bad but capable, in some respects, of improvement.
traditional historians, who support history as the core of social studies; mandarins, advocates of social studies as social science; social efficiency educators, who hope to create a smoothly controlled more efficient society; social meliorists, Deweyan experimentalists who want to develop students' reflective thinking and contribute to social improvement; and social reconstructionists, who cast social studies in schools in a leading role in the transformation of American society.
Herbert Kliebard, in a classic work, Struggle for the American Curriculum, described four main interest groups: humanists, developmentalists, social efficiency educators, and social meliorists.