idealism Definition

  • 1the cherishing or pursuit of high or noble principles, purposes, goals, etc.
  • 2the practice of forming or pursuing ideals, especially unrealistically
  • 3any of various systems of thought in which the objects of knowledge are held to be in some way dependent on the activity of mind

Using idealism: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "idealism" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    His idealism led him to pursue a career in public service.

  • Example

    The company's idealism was admirable but ultimately unrealistic.

  • Example

    Plato's philosophy is an example of idealism.

idealism Synonyms and Antonyms

Phrases with idealism

  • a theory that moral truths exist and are knowable, but not necessarily by empirical means


    Kant's ethical idealism holds that moral truths are a priori and can be known through reason alone.

  • a philosophical theory that the universe is ultimately mental or spiritual


    Hegel's absolute idealism posits that the universe is the result of the self-realization of the Absolute Spirit.

  • a philosophical theory that only the individual mind and its perceptions can be known or perceived


    Bishop Berkeley's subjective idealism holds that the external world does not exist independently of perception.

Origins of idealism

from the French word 'idéalisme', from 'idéal' meaning 'ideal'


Summary: idealism in Brief

Idealism [ahy-dee-uh-liz-uhm] refers to the pursuit of high or noble principles, often unrealistically. It can also refer to philosophical systems in which knowledge depends on the mind. Examples include ethical idealism, absolute idealism, and subjective idealism. Idealism is often contrasted with realism and cynicism.