What does modernism mean?

Definitions for modernismˈmɒd ərˌnɪz əm

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word modernism.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. modernism(noun)

    genre of art and literature that makes a self-conscious break with previous genres

  2. modernity, modernness, modernism, contemporaneity, contemporaneousness(noun)

    the quality of being current or of the present

    "a shopping mall would instill a spirit of modernity into this village"

  3. modernism(noun)

    practices typical of contemporary life or thought


  1. modernism(Noun)

    Modern or contemporary ideas, thought, practices, etc.

  2. modernism(Noun)

    Anything that is characteristic of modernity.

  3. modernism(Noun)

    any of several styles of art, architecture, literature, philosophy, etc., that flourished in the 20th century

  4. modernism(Noun)

    a religious movement in the early 20th century that tried to reconcile Roman Catholic dogma with modern science and philosophy

Webster Dictionary

  1. Modernism(noun)

    modern practice; a thing of recent date; esp., a modern usage or mode of expression


  1. Modernism

    Modernism, in its broadest definition, is modern thought, character, or practice. More specifically, the term describes the modernist movement in the arts, its set of cultural tendencies and associated cultural movements, originally arising from wide-scale and far-reaching changes to Western society in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. In particular the development of modern industrial societies and the rapid growth of cities, followed then by the horror of World War I, were among the factors that shaped Modernism. Related terms are modern, modernist, contemporary, and postmodern. In art, Modernism explicitly rejects the ideology of realism and makes use of the works of the past, through the application of reprise, incorporation, rewriting, recapitulation, revision and parody in new forms. Modernism also rejects the lingering certainty of Enlightenment thinking, as well as the idea of a compassionate, all-powerful Creator. In general, the term Modernism encompasses the activities and output of those who felt the "traditional" forms of art, architecture, literature, religious faith, social organization and daily life were becoming outdated in the new economic, social, and political conditions of an emerging fully industrialized world. The poet Ezra Pound's 1934 injunction to "Make it new!" was paradigmatic of the movement's approach towards the obsolete. Another paradigmatic exhortation was articulated by philosopher and composer Theodor Adorno, who, in the 1940s, challenged conventional surface coherence, and appearance of harmony typical of the rationality of Enlightenment thinking. A salient characteristic of Modernism is self-consciousness. This self-consciousness often led to experiments with form and work that draws attention to the processes and materials used.


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of modernism in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of modernism in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Sample Sentences & Example Usage

  1. Humayoun Azizi:

    (Karzai's) style of leadership was more traditional while Ashraf Ghani wants to promote modernism.

  2. Stefanie Zoche:

    Modernism is reduced to a kind of iconography to convey a certain feeling -- something special is happening here, we are modern.

  3. Elias Canetti:

    A modern man has nothing to add to modernism, if only because he has nothing to oppose it with. The well-adapted drop off the dead limb of time like lice.

  4. Todd Brandow:

    He really was one of the greats, he was the founding figure of modernism in photography and the modern woman in fashion photography, as well as modern portraiture.

Images & Illustrations of modernism

  1. modernismmodernismmodernism

Translations for modernism

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"modernism." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 22 Mar. 2018. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/modernism>.

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