Definition of universalist in US English:



  • 1Christian Theology
    A person who believes that all humankind will eventually be saved.

    • ‘I see no reason, then, for ranking Paul among the universalists.’
    • ‘Thus, it would appear that he is a universalist in the fullest sense of the term.’
    • ‘Moody argued that Paul was no universalist but rather a missionary.’
    • ‘Quakers range right across from very Christo-centric friends, right through to what we call universalists.’
    • ‘Ultimately he is a universalist who believes that all souls will be reconciled to God, including the souls of Satan and his minions.’
    1. 1.1usually Universalist A member of an organized body of Christians who hold the belief that all humankind will eventually be saved.
  • 2A person advocating loyalty to and concern for others without regard to national or other allegiances.

    • ‘Was he a nationalist rather than a universalist?’
    • ‘And finally, we maintain a progressive identity that has always accented universalist values, ever more crucial in the present day.’
    • ‘It is an accomplished group of self-made liberal middle-class professionals with a secular and universalist outlook.’
    • ‘Such a universalist stance obviously includes preserving Medicare and Social Security, as the Democrats emphasized in the 2000 campaign.’
    • ‘Money spent both to satisfy universalist dogma and on avoiding a means-test is money paid to the better off individual who does not need it, and kept from the poorer and needier.’
    • ‘As usual, the most vigorous and effective defense of the particular comes as part of a universalist demand for emancipation.’
    • ‘It is a conservative viewpoint in the true sense, which makes it the antithesis of contemporary neoconservatism and neoliberalism, as well as all universalist ideologies.’
    • ‘For the universalist left, nationalism was a trap used by an entrenched ruling class to prevent workers from understanding their own interests.’
    • ‘It's entirely possible to be a reformer at home and a universalist abroad.’
    • ‘Whereas most national identities derive from a people's geographic or ethnolinguistic origins, they noted, the American identity was grounded in the universalist ideas and values of the Enlightenment.’
    • ‘They think of themselves, so the explanation goes, as the real defenders of universalist ideals.’
    • ‘It is in the nature of a universalist religion to evince a lack of regard for borders and nationalities.’
    • ‘Reacting against the universalist claims of the French Revolution, German romantics of the late 18th and early 19th centuries such as Fichte and Herder invoked blood, soil and the spirit of the Volk.’
    • ‘The ‘three great religions’ are all susceptible to this charge, although their adherents may aptly and justly interpret the texts in a humanist or universalist way.’
    • ‘Although a man of the universalist left, Jimmy understood the lure and limited value of black nationalism for African-Americans.’
    • ‘I am with the universalist liberals on both counts, with reservations.’
    • ‘Stranded out on a limb, the most important need in the coming years for the individual in the South is for the solidarity of democratic, humanistic and universalist currents in both the North and the South.’
    • ‘There was a time, of course, when most progressives were universalists.’
    • ‘Mandatory health coverage will drive down health care costs, and its universalist dimension and market-based orientation should appeal to the left as well as the right.’
    • ‘We uphold a universalist orientation to the problems facing the world.’


  • 1Christian Theology
    Relating to universalists.

    • ‘I think it clearly is a universalist faith in the sense that everybody, no matter what race, religion or creed, has a potential for being true sons and daughters of the eternal.’
    • ‘Both universalist and conditionalist views of hell draw some contemporary support.’
    • ‘With the advent of a universalist, Christian monotheism, the notion was added that all these outsiders were by definition not only uncivilized but ungodly.’
    • ‘I got the impression he was coming from a universalist background, but he could have been talking about predestination.’
    • ‘Today's readings share an unmistakably universalist thrust, extending God's good news of salvation beyond insiders.’
  • 2Universal in scope or character.

    • ‘The pursuit of universalist truths has been given a knocking by the rise of postmodernism, he argues.’
    • ‘I'm always wary of narratives that try to prove a point about human psychology; it's usually some trite universalist nonsense about sex or gender.’
    • ‘It's also unsurprising that after the nightmare of the first world war, so many people around the world were inclined, in an era of modernism, to imagine peace in universalist terms.’
    • ‘Still, it is safe to say that the vast majority of the demonstrators who gathered in Seattle advanced universalist criticisms of free-market capitalism and corporate globalization.’
    • ‘Higonnet suggests that in the pursuit of universalist fraternity, however, Jacobin language lost its original libertarian meaning and that Jacobinism became a kind of sectarian religion as it moved from sensibility to ideology.’
    • ‘Examined purely structurally, this might represent a prototypical ‘exchange of men between women’ that would disrupt Levi-Strauss's universalist claims.’
    • ‘The novel stakes out a universalist position that valorizes a basic, transcultural category of the female body, especially as and when that body is subjected to disfigurement on account of patriarchal ideologies.’
    • ‘His essay in the catalogue takes numerous swipes at universalist definitions of art and at the notion of art's autonomy from the larger social world.’
    • ‘It is important to emphasize that such a conception of historical interconnections does not situate itself in universalist claims about Shakespeare's representation of history.’
    • ‘To compare their republic's democratic idealism to Rome, with its conquering legions, subjugation of peoples and universalist claims to law and order ignites a simmering anger.’
    • ‘The work of Henry Reynolds (and that of others less distinguished) has come under criticism for its universalist approach, bipolar categorisation, insensitivity to gender, and uncomplicated morality.’
    • ‘It seems clear that a universalist prescription, cast an actor of any ethnicity for any part, runs into serious objections.’
    • ‘The Bolsheviks seized power in Russia only weeks before the 14 Points speech, and Marxist-Leninism was to prove a powerful, similarly universalist, rival to liberal democracy for the rest of the 20th century.’
    • ‘He preached a universalist message to people whose minds were firmly locked into the local.’
    • ‘But it is an interpretation, distinct from the universalist interpretation of the verse that you are probably more familiar with, and it explains why you missed it in the listing.’
    • ‘In effect they are denying the universalist character of Buddhism are returning it to the particularistic mould of ethnic religion in contravention of the clear injunctions of the Buddha.’
    • ‘It all seemed a bit too easy and specific, not cool and abstract enough too conform to the universalist ambitions of modernism.’
    • ‘Liberalism had come to seem not a universalist creed, something for all Americans to embrace, but a particularist creed.’
    • ‘In the view of the critics, sweeping universalist generalizations based on such a tiny and unrepresentative sample of the world's languages are at best premature and at worst absurd.’
    • ‘In the early 20th century, against a background of thinking that rejected the universalist aesthetic of the classical tradition and saw period styles as the key to true historical understanding, Mannerism came to be re-evaluated.’