Definition of sentimentalism in English:



  • [mass noun] Excessively sentimental behaviour, writing, or speech.

    ‘the author blends realism with surrealism, journalism with sentimentalism’
    • ‘Literary sentimentalism and the adventure tale after Defoe, with its mixed narrative mode of thrilling episode and pious reflection, also influenced the rhetoric of the slave narrative.’
    • ‘Similarly, while those watching in 1940 saw a radical indictment, many modern critics have written Ford's film off as hollow, conservative sentimentalism.’
    • ‘Marx detested romanticism, emotionalism, sentimentalism and humanitarianism of any kind.’
    • ‘The plot's got a great deal of emotional heft to it, but never descends into mindless sentimentalism.’
    • ‘With the work of Richardson and the ensuing wave of sentimentalism that swept through Europe, the emotionalism attributed to women was placed in a new interpretative framework.’
    • ‘It may be too sweet for some, but this type of understated solidarity is the only kind of sentimentalism I can really bear.’
    • ‘This is one of those comedies that aims for small time targets, hits them and packs both sadness and affection in spades into its well edited 80 minute running time, without resorting to unnecessary sentimentalism.’
    • ‘But it does not extend infinitely, as false sentimentalism would have us believe.’
    • ‘Many scholars of nineteenth-century sentimentalism have noted the relation between sentimentalism and the marketplace.’
    • ‘The cynical sentimentalism only serves to make it more sickening.’
    • ‘Here, however, there was a change in tone, from the objective, old-style sporting picture, still practised by James Ward and others into the 1850s, towards open sentimentalism.’
    • ‘Furthermore, Crane's prose denies the consolations of sentimentalism, in which the less fortunate are cast as inferior objects of pity and condescension.’
    • ‘The Waltons and their family-friendly, values-based sentimentalism led the charge for an entire brigade of sentimental sap.’
    • ‘That sentimentalism still can be felt in the emotional landscape of America.’
    • ‘Mixing sentimentalism and human rights, however, remains just as potent a formula in the twenty-first century as the nineteenth.’
    • ‘Scholars of nineteenth-century sentimentalism note the radical universalism underlying sentimental discourse as well as the broad values of political and social equality it assumes.’
    • ‘The dialogue is often poignant and moving, but the play is never allowed to slip into sentimentalism.’
    • ‘All kinds of expectations and connotations lie embedded in ‘comedy’: for example, the trap of sentimentalism.’
    • ‘But on the subject of American slavery, film-makers have always had an enormous sea of sentimentalism and melodrama to cross before even considering the subject.’
    • ‘This vanishing reflects both the culture's increasing intolerance of sentimentalism and mainstream comics' marginalizing of women readers.’
    sentimentality, mawkishness, over-sentimentality, emotionalism, overemotionalism, sentimentalism
    View synonyms