Definition of sentimentalism in US English:



  • The excessive expression of feelings of tenderness, sadness, or nostalgia in behavior, writing, or speech.

    ‘the author blends realism with surrealism, journalism with sentimentalism’
    • ‘But it does not extend infinitely, as false sentimentalism would have us believe.’
    • ‘The plot's got a great deal of emotional heft to it, but never descends into mindless sentimentalism.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Many scholars of nineteenth-century sentimentalism have noted the relation between sentimentalism and the marketplace.’
    • ‘Furthermore, Crane's prose denies the consolations of sentimentalism, in which the less fortunate are cast as inferior objects of pity and condescension.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The dialogue is often poignant and moving, but the play is never allowed to slip into 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.’
    • ‘It may be too sweet for some, but this type of understated solidarity is the only kind of sentimentalism I can really bear.’
    • ‘The Waltons and their family-friendly, values-based sentimentalism led the charge for an entire brigade of sentimental sap.’
    • ‘Mixing sentimentalism and human rights, however, remains just as potent a formula in the twenty-first century as the nineteenth.’
    • ‘Similarly, while those watching in 1940 saw a radical indictment, many modern critics have written Ford's film off as hollow, conservative sentimentalism.’
    • ‘That sentimentalism still can be felt in the emotional landscape of America.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Marx detested romanticism, emotionalism, sentimentalism and humanitarianism of any kind.’
    • ‘The cynical sentimentalism only serves to make it more sickening.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘All kinds of expectations and connotations lie embedded in ‘comedy’: for example, the trap of sentimentalism.’
    sentimentality, mawkishness, over-sentimentality, emotionalism, overemotionalism
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