Wednesday, 23 October 2013

List of 'isms'

fundamentalism noun [ U ]
the belief in old and traditional forms of religion, or the belief that what is written in a holy book, such as the Christian Bible, is completely true
Recent years have witnessed a growth in religious fundamentalism.
futurism noun [ U ]
a new way of thinking in the arts that started in the 1920s and 1930s which attempted to express through a range of art forms the characteristics and images of the modern age, such as machines, speed, movement and power
globalism noun [ U ]
the idea that events in one country cannot be separated from those in another and that a government should therefore consider the effects of its actions in other countries as well as its own
hedonism noun [ U ]
living and behaving in ways that mean you get as much pleasure out of life as possible, according to the belief that the most important thing in life is to enjoy yourself
heroism noun [ U ]
great bravery
an act of heroism
Hinduism noun [ U ]
an ancient religion with Indian origins whose characteristics include the worship of many gods and goddesses and the belief that when a person or creature dies, their spirit returns to life in another body
holism noun [ U ]
the belief that each thing is a whole which is more important than the parts that make it up
hooliganism noun [ U ]
football/soccer hooliganism
humanism noun [ U ]
a belief system based on the principle that people's spiritual and emotional needs can be satisfied without following a god or religion
humanitarianism noun [ U ]
hypnotism noun [ U ]
Some people try hypnotism to cure themselves of addictions.
idealism noun [ U ]
1. the belief that your ideals can be achieved, often when this does not seem likely to others
She never lost her youthful idealism and campaigned for just causes all her life.
idealism noun [ U ]
2. specialized the belief in philosophy that objects in the world are ideas which only exist in the mind of God or people who see them
imperialism noun [ U ] often disapproving
1. a system in which a country rules other countries, sometimes having used force to get power over them
the age of imperialism
imperialism noun [ U ] often disapproving
2. when one country has a lot of power or influence over others, especially in political and economic matters
She accused the United States of economic imperialism.
Impressionism noun [ U ]
a style of painting, which began in France in the 1860s, in which the artist tries to represent the effects of light on an object, person, area of countryside, etc.
individualism noun [ U ] SINGLE
1. the idea that freedom of thought and action for each person is the most important quality of a society, rather than shared effort and responsibility
individualism noun [ U ] DIFFERENT
2. the quality of being different or original
industrialism noun [ U ]
the idea or state of having a country's economy, society or political system based on industry
intellectualism noun [ U ] usually disapproving
internationalism noun [ U ]
1. the state of being international, or happening in and between many countries
the increasing internationalism of criminals
internationalism noun [ U ]
2. the belief that countries can achieve more advantages by working together and trying to understand each other than by arguing and fighting wars with each other
interventionism noun [ U ]
UN interventionism
ism noun [ C ] informal mainly humorous
a set of beliefs, especially ones that you disapprove of
Thatcher is unique among her predecessors in having given the English language a brand new ism, created from her own name.
isolationism noun [ U ] disapproving
the political principle or practice of showing interest only in your own country and not being involved in international activities
jingoism noun [ U ] disapproving
the extreme belief that your own country is always best, which is often shown in enthusiastic support for a war against another country
Patriotism can turn into jingoism and intolerance very quickly.
journalism noun [ U ]
the work of collecting, writing and publishing news stories and articles in newspapers and magazines or broadcasting them on the radio and television
Judaism noun [ U ]
the religion of the Jewish people, based on belief in one God and on the laws contained in the Torah and Talmud
Lamaism noun [ U ]
Tibetan Buddhism
leftism noun [ U ]
Leninism noun [ U ]
the social, political and economic principles and theories developed from Marxism by the Russian politician V.I. Lenin, supporting direct rule by workers
lesbianism noun [ U ]
the condition of being a lesbian
liberalism noun [ U ]
lyricism noun [ U ]
the beautiful expression of personal thoughts and feelings in writing or music
The harshness of the book's subject is softened by a certain lyricism in the writing.
magnetism noun [ U ] ATTRACTIVE QUALITY
1. a quality that makes someone very attractive to other people
The actress has a personal magnetism that is rare in someone so young.
magnetism noun [ U ] OBJECT
2. the power of being able to attract iron and steel objects and also push them away
malapropism noun [ C ]
the wrong use of one word instead of another word because they sound similar to each other, and which is funny as a result
mannerism noun [ C ]
something that a person does repeatedly with their face, hands or voice, and which they may not be realise they are doing
He's got some very strange mannerisms.
We've spent so much time together that we've picked up each other's mannerisms.
Mannerism noun [ U ] specialized
a style of 16th century art, common in Italy, France and Spain, which did not follow traditional rules of painting and tried to represent an image of beauty that was perfect rather than natural
Mannerism is characterized by a distortion of proportions and perspective.
Maoism noun [ U ]
the type of Communism introduced in China by Mao Zedong
Marxism noun [ U ]
a social, political and economic theory which is based on the writings of Karl Marx
masochism noun [ U ]
1. the activity of getting sexual pleasure from being hurt or controlled by another person
masochism noun [ U ]
2. informal the enjoyment of an activity or situation that most people would find very unpleasant
I reckon you need to be into masochism to run marathons.
materialism noun [ U ] MONEY
1. the belief that having money and possessions is the most important thing in life
So have we become a self-centred society, preoccupied with materialism?
materialism noun [ U ] PHYSICAL
2. specialized the belief that only physical matter exists and the spiritual world does not
McCarthyism noun [ U ]
the act of accusing someone of something that is considered unacceptable by many people, especially when you have no proof
McCarthyism is named after the American politician Joseph McCarthy, who in the 1950s accused many Americans of being Communists.
She was a victim of McCarthyism.
mechanism noun [ C ] MACHINE PART
1. a part of a machine, or a set of parts that work together
These automatic cameras have a special focusing mechanism.
mechanism noun [ C ] SYSTEM
2. a way of doing something which is planned or part of a system
The mechanism for collecting taxes needs revising.
mechanism noun [ C ] BEHAVIOUR
3. a part of your behaviour which helps you to deal with a difficult situation
She's actually rather insecure, and her rudeness is just a defence mechanism.
metabolism noun [ C ] specialized
all the chemical processes in your body, especially those that cause food to be used for energy and growth
Exercise is supposed to speed up your metabolism.
Methodism noun [ U ]
the beliefs and activities of a Christian group which follows the teachings of John Wesley
microorganism noun [ C ]
a living thing which on its own is too small to be seen without a microscope
militarism noun [ U ] disapproving
the belief that it is necessary to have strong armed forces and that they should be used in order to win political or economic advantages
minimalism noun [ U ]
modernism noun [ U ]
1. modern thinking or methods
Modernism seeks to find new forms of expression and rejects traditional or accepted ideas.
modernism noun [ U ]
2. specialized the ideas and methods of modern art, especially in the simple design of buildings in the 1940s, 50s and 60s which were made from modern materials
monasticism noun [ U ]
the way monks live
monetarism noun [ U ]
a system of controlling a country's economy by limiting how much money is in use at a particular time
mongolism noun [ U ] offensive old-fashioned
Down's syndrome
monotheism noun [ U ]
the belief that there is only one god
multiculturalism noun [ U ]
the existence of several cultures within a society
mysticism noun [ U ]
the belief that there is hidden meaning in life or that each human being can unite with God
narcissism noun [ U ] disapproving
too much interest in and admiration for your own physical appearance and/or your own abilities
narcoterrorism noun [ U ]
violent criminal actions relating to the trade in illegal drugs
nationalism noun [ U ]
1. the wish for and the attempt to achieve political independence for your country or nation
nationalism noun [ U ]
2. a great or too great love of your own country
The book documents the rise of the political right with its accompanying strands of nationalism and racism.
Naturalism noun [ U ]
(in art and literature) showing people and experiences as they really are, instead of suggesting that they are better than they really are or representing them in a fixed style
Strindberg, Ibsen and Chekhov are a few of the dramatists who were influenced by Naturalism.
naturism noun [ U ]
Nazism noun [ U ]
negativism noun [ U ] ( also negativity )
the feeling of not being hopeful, or considering only the bad side of a situation
There's a real attitude of negativism among the team at the moment.
neoclassicism noun [ U ]
neocolonialism noun [ U ]
political control by a rich country of a poorer country that should be independent and free to govern itself
neologism noun [ C ] formal
a new word or expression, or a new meaning for an existing word
nepotism noun [ U ] disapproving
using your power or influence to get good jobs or unfair advantages for members of your own family
He was guilty of nepotism and corruption.
nihilism noun [ U ] specialized
a belief that all political and religious organizations are bad, or a system of thought which says that there are no principles or beliefs which have any meaning or can be true
nimbyism noun [ U ]
Residents were accused of nimbyism when they tried to stop the new superstore development.
nudism noun [ U ]
the activity of wearing no clothes because you believe that wearing no clothes is healthy
obstructionism noun [ U ] disapproving
when someone intentionally stops or delays an official process
opportunism noun [ U ]
behaviour in which you use every situation to try to get power or an advantage
political opportunism
optimism noun [ U ]
being hopeful and emphasizing the good part of a situation rather than the bad part; the belief that good things will happen in the future
There was a note of optimism in his voice as he spoke about the company's future.
Judging from your examination results, I think you have cause/grounds/reason for cautious optimism about getting a university place.
organism noun [ C ]
a single living plant, animal, virus, etc
Amoebae and bacteria are single-celled organisms.
ostracism noun [ U ]
AIDS victims often experience social ostracism and discrimination.
pacifism noun [ U ]
the belief that war is wrong, and therefore that to fight in a war is wrong
paganism noun [ U ]
pantheism noun [ U ]
belief in many or all gods, or the belief that God exists in and is the same as all things, animals and people within the universe
parasitism noun [ U ]
parochialism noun [ U ] disapproving
political parochialism
paternalism noun [ U ] usually disapproving
when people in authority think or act in a way which results in them making decisions for other people which are often to their advantage but which prevent those people from taking responsibility for their own lives
patriotism noun [ U ]
when you love your country and are proud of it
Pentecostalism noun [ U ]
a modern section of the Christian religion which began in the US in 1901, whose members believe that everything written in the Bible is true
perfectionism noun [ U ]
the wish for everything to be correct
Obsessive perfectionism can be very irritating.
pessimism noun [ U ]
emphasizing or thinking of the bad part of a situation rather than the good part, or the feeling that bad things are more likely to happen than good things
There is now a mood of deepening pessimism about/over the economy.
An underlying pessimism infuses all her novels.

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