Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to atomism: logical atomism
1. The ancient theory of Democritus, Epicurus, and Lucretius, according to which simple, minute, indivisible, and indestructible particles are the basic components of the entire universe.
2. A theory according to which social institutions, values, and processes arise solely from the acts and interests of individuals, who thus constitute the only true subject of analysis.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
1. (Philosophy) an ancient philosophical theory, developed by Democritus and expounded by Lucretius, that the ultimate constituents of the universe are atoms. See atom3
a. any of a number of theories that hold that some objects or phenomena can be explained as constructed out of a small number of distinct types of simple indivisible entities
b. any theory that holds that an understanding of the parts is logically prior to an understanding of the whole. Compare holism3
3. (Psychology) psychol the theory that experiences and mental states are composed of elementary units
ˈatomist n, adj
ˌatomˈistic, ˌatomˈistical adj
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
at•om•ism(ˈæt əˌmɪz əm)
the theory that minute, discrete, and indivisible elements are the ultimate constituents of all matter.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
the theory that minute, discrete, finite, and indivisible elements are the ultimate constituents of all matter. Also called atomic theory. — atomist, n. — atomistic, atomistical, adj.See also: Philosophy
-Ologies & -Isms. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
In Greek philosophy, the notion that matter is made up particles of solid matter moving in empty space.
Dictionary of Unfamiliar Words by Diagram Group Copyright © 2008 by Diagram Visual Information Limited
Switch to new thesaurus
|Noun||1.||atomism - (psychology) a theory that reduces all mental phenomena to simple elements (sensations and feelings) that form complex ideas by association|
scientific theory - a theory that explains scientific observations; "scientific theories must be falsifiable"
|2.||atomism - (chemistry) any theory in which all matter is composed of tiny discrete finite indivisible indestructible particles; "the ancient Greek philosophers Democritus and Epicurus held atomic theories of the universe"|
theory - a well-substantiated explanation of some aspect of the natural world; an organized system of accepted knowledge that applies in a variety of circumstances to explain a specific set of phenomena; "theories can incorporate facts and laws and tested hypotheses"; "true in fact and theory"
chemical science, chemistry - the science of matter; the branch of the natural sciences dealing with the composition of substances and their properties and reactions
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.