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A distinctive doctrine, system, or theory: "Formalism, by being an 'ism,' kills form by hugging it to death" (Peter Viereck).
informal often derogatory an unspecified doctrine, system, or practice
(Astronomy) interstellar medium
a distinctive doctrine, theory, system, or practice: capitalism, socialism, and other isms.
a suffix appearing in loanwords from Greek, where it was used to form action nouns from verbs (baptism); on this model, used as a productive suffix in the formation of nouns denoting action or practice, state or condition, principles, doctrines, a usage or characteristic, devotion or adherence, etc.: Darwinism; despotism; plagiarism; realism; witticism. Compare -ist, -ize.
[< Greek -ismos, -isma]
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|Noun||1.||ism - a belief (or system of beliefs) accepted as authoritative by some group or school|
nuclear deterrence - the military doctrine that an enemy will be deterred from using nuclear weapons as long as he can be destroyed as a consequence; "when two nations both resort to nuclear deterrence the consequence could be mutual destruction"
belief - any cognitive content held as true
abolitionism - the doctrine that calls for the abolition of slavery
absolutism - the doctrine of an absolute being
amoralism - the doctrine that moral distinctions are invalid
animalism - the doctrine that human beings are purely animal in nature and lacking a spiritual nature
animism - the doctrine that all natural objects and the universe itself have souls; "animism is common among primitive peoples"
antiestablishmentarianism, antiestablishmentism - the doctrine of opposition to the social and political establishment
asceticism - the doctrine that through renunciation of worldly pleasures it is possible to achieve a high spiritual or intellectual state
contextualism - any doctrine emphasizing the importance of the context in solving problems or establishing the meaning of terms
creationism - the literal belief in the account of Creation given in the Book of Genesis; "creationism denies the theory of evolution of species"
divine right, divine right of kings - the doctrine that kings derive their right to rule directly from God and are not accountable to their subjects; rebellion is the worst of political crimes; "the doctrine of the divine right of kings was enunciated by the Stuarts in Britain in the 16th century"
dogma - a doctrine or code of beliefs accepted as authoritative; "he believed all the Marxist dogma"
dualism - the doctrine that reality consists of two basic opposing elements, often taken to be mind and matter (or mind and body), or good and evil
dynamism - any of the various theories or doctrines or philosophical systems that attempt to explain the phenomena of the universe in terms of some immanent force or energy
epicureanism - a doctrine of hedonism that was defended by several ancient Greek philosophers
establishmentarianism, establishmentism - the doctrine of supporting the social or political establishment
ethicism - a doctrine that ethics and ethical ideas are valid and important; "his ethicism often led him to moralize"
expansionism - the doctrine of expanding the territory or the economic influence of a country
formalism - the doctrine that formal structure rather than content is what should be represented
functionalism - any doctrine that stresses utility or purpose
Girondism - the doctrine of the Girondists
gospel - a doctrine that is believed to be of great importance; "Newton's writings were gospel for those who followed"
gymnosophy - the doctrine of a sect of Hindu philosophers who practiced nudity and asceticism and meditation
imitation - the doctrine that representations of nature or human behavior should be accurate imitations
laissez faire, individualism - the doctrine that government should not interfere in commercial affairs
internationalism - the doctrine that nations should cooperate because their common interests are more important than their differences
unilateralism - the doctrine that nations should conduct their foreign affairs individualistically without the advice or involvement of other nations
irredentism, irridentism - the doctrine that irredenta should be controlled by the country to which they are ethnically or historically related
literalism - the doctrine of realistic (literal) portrayal in art or literature
majority rule, democracy - the doctrine that the numerical majority of an organized group can make decisions binding on the whole group
monism - the doctrine that reality consists of a single basic substance or element
multiculturalism - the doctrine that several different cultures (rather than one national culture) can coexist peacefully and equitably in a single country
nationalism - the doctrine that your national culture and interests are superior to any other
nationalism - the doctrine that nations should act independently (rather than collectively) to attain their goals
nihilism - a revolutionary doctrine that advocates destruction of the social system for its own sake
pluralism - the doctrine that reality consists of several basic substances or elements
populism - the political doctrine that supports the rights and powers of the common people in their struggle with the privileged elite
presentism - the doctrine that the Scripture prophecies of the Apocalypse (as in the Book of Revelations) are presently in the course of being fulfilled