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Alternative forms[edit]


From Hobbes (a surname) +‎ -ian; referring to the 17th century English author Thomas Hobbes, whose best-known work, Leviathan, describes the state of nature in terms of unrestrained, selfish, and uncivilized competition.


Hobbesian (comparative more Hobbesian, superlative most Hobbesian)

  1. (philosophy) Of, relating to, or influenced by Thomas Hobbes or his philosophical theories.
    Synonyms: Hobbist, (archaic) Hobbish
    a Hobbesian theory of the state
  2. (figuratively) Involving unrestrained, selfish, and uncivilized competition.
    a cutthroat, Hobbesian environment
    • 1995, Fred Pfeil, White Guys: Studies in Postmodern Domination and Difference, →ISBN, page 150:
      In Hammett's writings, the social is constructed as a vast Hobbesian landscape of grim functionaries and desperate scrabblers []
    • 2017 February 22, Mike Isaac, “Inside Uber’s Aggressive, Unrestrained Workplace Culture”, in New York Times[1]:
      Yet the focus on pushing for the best result has also fueled what current and former Uber employees describe as a Hobbesian environment at the company, in which workers are sometimes pitted against one another and where a blind eye is turned to infractions from top performers.



Hobbesian (plural Hobbesians)

  1. (philosophy) A follower of the theories of Thomas Hobbes.
    Synonym: Hobbist
    • 2019, François Bonnet, The Upper Limit: How Low-Wage Work Defines Punishment and Welfare, →ISBN, page 120:
      Hobbesians purport to describe social order as it is: a constant, iron-fisted effort to crush enemies and to incapacitate criminals.