realism Definition

  • 1the attitude or practice of accepting a situation as it is and being prepared to deal with it accordingly
  • 2the quality or fact of representing a person, thing, or situation accurately or in a way that is true to life
  • 3a movement in art and literature that seeks to depict the world realistically, without idealizing or romanticizing it

Using realism: Examples

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

  • Example

    The government's realism about the economy helped them make tough decisions.

  • Example

    The novel was praised for its realism and attention to detail.

  • Example

    Realism in painting emerged in the mid-19th century as a reaction to Romanticism.

realism Synonyms and Antonyms

Phrases with realism

  • a literary genre that combines realistic narrative with surreal or magical elements


    The novel 'One Hundred Years of Solitude' by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is an example of magical realism.

  • social realism

    an artistic movement that aims to reflect the reality of everyday life, especially the lives of working-class people


    The paintings of Diego Rivera are known for their social realism.

  • photorealism

    an art movement that began in the 1960s and emphasizes the precise rendering of photographic images


    The paintings of Chuck Close are examples of photorealism.

Origins of realism

from French 'réalisme', from 'réalité' meaning 'reality'


Summary: realism in Brief

Realism [ˈrɪəlɪzəm] refers to the acceptance of situations as they are and the representation of people, things, or situations accurately. It can be applied to art and literature, where it seeks to depict the world realistically, without idealizing or romanticizing it. Examples of this include social realism and photorealism. The term can also be used informally as 'realness' or 'keeping it real.'