Definition of intellectualism in US English:



  • 1The exercise of the intellect at the expense of the emotions.

    • ‘The Civil War's echoes can still be heard today in the strained relations of people who only differ in the color of their skin, and in the continuing tension between intellectualism and tradition.’
    • ‘Why are intellectualism and sexuality dichotomous?’
    • ‘This contradiction opens up an interesting set of cultural questions to explore: Why are blackness and intellectualism traditionally opposed?’
    • ‘In drama, a dullness has crept in because intellectualism isn't a word you're allowed to utter any more.’
    • ‘English departments marginalize it, perhaps because academics consider religion incompatible with intellectualism.’
    • ‘One possible explanation relates to differing attitudes between the two cultures regarding intellectualism and scholarship.’
    • ‘Avoiding any detailed examination of the life of the mind - not just its content but all the complex paraphernalia of professional intellectualism - takes care of the first difficulty.’
    • ‘Neither intellectualism nor emotions such as hatred and anger are able to occupy such a space.’
    • ‘The Ellison family feasts on oysters, and intellectualism takes priority over religion.’
    • ‘Its characteristics of intellectualism, timelessness, cleverness, spin, non-contact, heroism, and contemplation are as if specifically designed to fit the national psyche.’
    • ‘This hidden intellectualism is especially problematic when considered side-by-side with the overt anti-intellectualism prevalent throughout the novel.’
    • ‘They are all good examples of a lively new form of public intellectualism that is not academic in tone.’
    • ‘Even a Vietnam War hero from the Northeast came across as too steeped in intellectualism and internationalism to understand military families.’
    • ‘He reinforced an Australian cultural stereotype which equated intellectualism with sexual deviance.’
    • ‘So my book choices don't reflect a pretence to intellectualism - quite the reverse.’
    • ‘It's not the pretentious air of intellectualism and pre-programme boasting which offended.’
    • ‘Black is the color of intellectualism, of abstinence, of penitence.’
    • ‘But he did not go in for intellectualism, he developed an emotional approach to classical music, appealing to the common man.’
    • ‘The title story, lucid and witty, with an odd mixture of eroticism and quiet intellectualism, has an English professor trying to prostitute good conversation; a harder sell than the typical wares offered on the street.’
    • ‘It is a well known fact that conservative republicans have an antipathy to intellectualism in political thinking, preferring to rely instead on traditionalism and some mysterious form of organic growth.’
    pretentiousness, pomposity, pompousness, dullness, tedium
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Philosophy The theory that knowledge is wholly or mainly derived from pure reason; rationalism.
      • ‘For Sartre, we should reject intellectualism, we should reject all metaphysical speculation, including philosophy itself.’
      • ‘Socratic intellectualism has two significant consequences.’
      • ‘This theory is contrasted to intellectualism, which gives primacy to God's reason.’
      • ‘Hence, used as a symbol of intellectual life, or a standard of what real intellectualism entails, his thesis obfuscates issues of access, privilege and accountability.’
      • ‘I self-actualised in the sense that I love intellectualism, the thinking field.’