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[ahy-dee-uh-liz-uh m] /aɪˈdi əˌlɪz əm/

the cherishing or pursuit of high or noble principles, purposes, goals, etc.
the practice of idealizing.
something idealized; an ideal representation.
Fine Arts. treatment of subject matter in a work of art in which a mental conception of beauty or form is stressed, characterized usually by the selection of particular features of various models and their combination into a whole according to a standard of perfection.
Compare (def 2), (def 3a).

belief in or pursuance of ideals
the tendency to represent things in their ideal forms, rather than as they are
any of a group of philosophical doctrines that share the monistic view that material objects and the external world do not exist in reality independently of the human mind but are variously creations of the mind or constructs of ideas Compare materialism (sense 2), dualism (sense 2)

1796, in the abstract sense, originally “belief that reality is made up only of ideas,” from ideal (adj.) + -ism; on model of French idéalisme. Meaning “representing things in an ideal form” is from 1829.

An approach to philosophy that regards mind, spirit, or ideas as the most fundamental kinds of reality, or at least as governing our experience of the ordinary objects in the world. Idealism is opposed to materialism, naturalism, and realism. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel was an idealist; so was Immanuel Kant.


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  • Ideality

    [ahy-dee-al-i-tee] /ˌaɪ diˈæl ɪ ti/ noun, plural idealities. 1. quality or character. 2. capacity to idealize. 3. Philosophy. existence only in idea and not in reality.

  • Idealistically

    [ahy-dee-uh-lis-tik, ahy-dee-uh-] /aɪˌdi əˈlɪs tɪk, ˌaɪ di ə-/ adjective 1. of or relating to or . adj. 1829; see idealist + -ic.

  • Idealization

    [ahy-dee-uh-luh-zey-shuh n] /aɪˌdi ə ləˈzeɪ ʃən/ noun 1. the act or process of something. 2. Psychoanalysis. a mental mechanism, operating consciously or unconsciously, in which one person overestimates an admired attribute of another. /aɪˌdɪəlaɪˈzeɪʃən/ noun 1. the representation of something as ideal 2. a conception of something that dwells on its advantages and ignores its […]

  • Idealize

    [ahy-dee-uh-lahyz] /aɪˈdi əˌlaɪz/ verb (used with object), idealized, idealizing. 1. to make ; represent in an form or character; exalt to an perfection or excellence. verb (used without object), idealized, idealizing. 2. to represent something in an form. /aɪˈdɪəˌlaɪz/ verb 1. to consider or represent (something) as ideal 2. (transitive) to portray as ideal; glorify […]

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