nihilism

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See also: Nihilism

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Probably borrowed from French nihilisme, German Nihilismus, or Late Latin nihilismus + English -ism (suffix forming the name of a school of thought, system, or theory); the French, German, and Latin words are derived from Latin nihil (indefinite nothing), from nihilum (nothing), from ne- (prefix negating the principal meaning) + hīlum (a trifle; not in the least). The English word is cognate with Italian nichilismo, Spanish nihilismo, Russian нигили́зм (nigilízm, philosophical doctrine grounded on negation of one or more meaningful aspects of life; emptiness; lack of education and cultural refinement).[1]

Pronunciation[edit]

Noun[edit]

nihilism (countable and uncountable, plural nihilisms)

  1. The view that all endeavours are devoid of objective meaning.
  2. The rejection of, or opposition to, religious beliefs, (inherent or objective) moral principles, legal rules, etc., often due to the view that life is meaningless (sense 1).
  3. (philosophy) A doctrine grounded on the negation of one or more meaningful aspects of life; in particular, the view that nothing in the world actually exists.
  4. (politics) The rejection of non-proven or non-rationalized assertions in the social and political spheres of society.
  5. (psychiatry) A delusion that oneself or the world, or parts thereof, have ceased to exist.
  6. (Russia, politics, historical) Alternative letter-case form of Nihilism (a Russian movement of the 1860s that rejected all authority and promoted the use of violence for political change)

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

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References[edit]

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