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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for pluralism in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)

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plural +‎ -ism


pluralism (countable and uncountable, plural pluralisms)

  1. The quality or state of being plural, or in the plural number.
  2. (ecclesiastical) The state of a pluralist; the holding of more than one ecclesiastical living at a time.
  3. (social sciences) A social system that permits smaller groups within a society to maintain their individual cultural identities.
    • 2007, Matthias Koenig; Paul F. A. Guchteneire, Unesco, Democracy and Human Rights in Multicultural Societies‎, page 251:
      Instead, it is more probable that globalization is leading to a plurality of pluralisms.
  4. (philosophy) The belief that values can be simultaneously antagonistic and incommensurable.
    • 2006, Connie Aarsbergen-Ligtvoet, Isaiah Berlin: A Value Pluralist and Humanist View of Human Nature and the Meaning of Live, ↑ISBN:
      Due to pluralism and conflicts within the good itself, such perfection, for Berlin, is not possible. A compromise does not brin us closer to a higher telos in history.
    • 2016, Stuart Firestein, Failure: Why Science is So Successful, page 217:
      Pluralism is a creative force because it admits of multiple ways to see a thing, multiple valuable paths to choose from.


Related terms[edit]