Definition of Nihilism

1. Noun. A revolutionary doctrine that advocates destruction of the social system for its own sake.

2. Noun. The delusion that things (or everything, including the self) do not exist; a sense that everything is unreal.
Exact synonyms: Nihilistic Delusion
Generic synonyms: Delusion, Psychotic Belief

3. Noun. Complete denial of all established authority and institutions.
Generic synonyms: Anarchy, Lawlessness
Derivative terms: Nihilist, Nihilist, Nihilistic

Definition of Nihilism

1. n. Nothingness; nihility.

Definition of Nihilism

1. Noun. (philosophy) Extreme skepticism, maintaining that nothing has a real existence. ¹

2. Noun. (ethics) The rejection of all moral principles. ¹

3. Noun. (politics) (''capitalized'' by protagonist Turgenev) A Russian anarchistic revolutionary doctrine (1860-1917) holding that conditions in the social organization are so bad as to make destruction desirable for its own sake, independent of any constructive program or possibility. ¹

4. Noun. The belief that all endeavors are ultimately futile and devoid of meaning. ¹

5. Noun. Contradiction (not always deliberate) between behavior and espoused principle, to such a degree that all possible espoused principle is voided. ¹

6. Noun. The deliberate refusal of belief, to the point that belief itself is rejected as untenable. ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Nihilism

1. a doctrine that denies traditional values [n -S]

Medical Definition of Nihilism

1. 1. In psychiatry, the delusion of the nonexistence of everything, especially of the self or part of the self. 2. Engagement in acts which are totally destructive to one's own purposes and those of one's group. Origin: L. Nihil, nothing Therapeutic nihilism, a disbelief in the efficacy or value of therapy, as of drugs, psychotherapy, etc. (05 Mar 2000)

Nihilism Pictures

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Nihilism

nihil obstat
nihilism (current term)
nihilistic delusion

Literary usage of Nihilism

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. Russia: Its People and Its Literature by Emilia Pardo Bazán, condesa de Emilia Pardo-Bazán, Fanny Hale Gardiner (1890)
"RUSSIAN nihilism AND ITS LITERATURE. THE WORD "nihilism." I HAVE scarcely realized until now the difficulties in the way of the subject I am treating. ..."

2. Modern French Legal Philosophy by Alfred Fouillée, Alfred Jules Emile Fouillee (1916)
"I-Vagile as often are the solutions accepted or proposed, they keep us from the nihilism which was the mistake of the historical school with respect to ..."

3. Church History by Johann Heinrich Kurtz (1890)
"In 1860, nihilism, springing from this seed, first assumed the character of a ... This was the hour when nihilism exercised its fellest terrorism. ..."

4. Russian Revolution Aspects by Robert Edward Crozier Long (1919)
"CHAPTER VII THE REBIRTH OF nihilism THE sudden outbreak of disorder which occurred within a few weeks of the Revolution, and which brought to naught the ..."

5. Russia by Donald Mackenzie Wallace (1905)
"CHAPTER XXXIV REVOLUTIONARY nihilism AND THE REACTION The Reform-enthusiasm Becomes Unpractical and Culminates in nihilismnihilism, the Distorted ..."

6. Russia by Donald Mackenzie Wallace (1905)
"CHAPTER XXXIV REVOLUTIONARY nihilism AND THE REACTION The Reform-enthusiasm Becomes Unpractical and Culminates in nihilismnihilism, the Distorted ..."

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