Definitions for idealismaɪˈdi əˌlɪz əm

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word idealism

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

i•de•al•ismaɪˈdi əˌlɪz əm(n.)

  1. the cherishing or pursuit of high or noble principles, purposes, or goals.

  2. the practice of idealizing.

  3. something idealized; an ideal representation.

  4. treatment of subject matter, as in art, in which a mental conception of beauty or form is stressed.

    Category: Fine Arts

  5. any philosophical system or theory that maintains that the real is of the nature of thought or that the object of external perception consists of ideas.

    Category: Philosphy

Origin of idealism:


Princeton's WordNet

  1. idealism(noun)

    (philosophy) the philosophical theory that ideas are the only reality

  2. idealism(noun)

    impracticality by virtue of thinking of things in their ideal form rather than as they really are

  3. high-mindedness, idealism, noble-mindedness(noun)

    elevated ideals or conduct; the quality of believing that ideals should be pursued

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. idealism(noun)ɪˈdi əˌlɪz əm

    ≠ realism

    the idealism of youth


  1. idealism(Noun)

    The property of a person of having high ideals that are usually unrealizable or at odds with practical life.

  2. idealism(Noun)

    An approach to philosophical enquiry which asserts that direct and immediate knowledge can only be had of ideas or mental pictures.

  3. Origin: First attested 1796, from .

Webster Dictionary

  1. Idealism(noun)

    the quality or state of being ideal

  2. Idealism(noun)

    conception of the ideal; imagery

  3. Idealism(noun)

    the system or theory that denies the existence of material bodies, and teaches that we have no rational grounds to believe in the reality of anything but ideas and their relations


  1. Idealism

    In philosophy, idealism is the group of philosophies which assert that reality, or reality as we can know it, is fundamentally mental, mentally constructed, or otherwise immaterial. Epistemologically, idealism manifests as a skepticism about the possibility of knowing any mind-independent thing. In a sociological sense, idealism emphasizes how human ideas—especially beliefs and values—shape society. As an ontological doctrine, idealism goes further, asserting that all entities are composed of mind or spirit. Idealism thus rejects physicalist and dualist theories that fail to ascribe priority to the mind. The earliest extant arguments that the world of experience is grounded in the mental derive from India and Greece. The Hindu idealists in India and the Greek Neoplatonists gave panentheistic arguments for an all-pervading consciousness as the ground or true nature of reality. In contrast, the Yogācāra school, which arose within Mahayana Buddhism in India in the 4th century CE, based its "mind-only" idealism to a greater extent on phenomenological analyses of personal experience. This turn toward the subjective anticipated empiricists such as George Berkeley, who revived idealism in 18th-century Europe by employing skeptical arguments against materialism.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Idealism

    that view of the universe which, in opposition to Materialism (q. v.), refers everything to and derives everything from a spiritual root; is Subjective if traced no further back than the ego, and Objective if traced back to the non-ego likewise, its counterpart, or other, in the objective world. Idealism in art is art more or less at work in the region of the ideal in comparative disregard of the actual.

Anagrams of idealism

  1. miladies

Translations for idealism

Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary


Get even more translations for idealism »


Find a translation for the idealism definition in other languages:

Select another language:

Discuss these idealism definitions with the community:


Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


"idealism." STANDS4 LLC, 2014. Web. 20 Dec. 2014. <>.

Are we missing a good definition for idealism?

The Web's Largest Resource for

Definitions & Translations

A Member Of The STANDS4 Network

Nearby & related entries:

Alternative searches for idealism: