Open main menu


English Wikipedia has an article on:


From Latin melior (better) +‎ -ism. Reportedly coined by British author George Eliot in her letters, published in 1877.



meliorism (countable and uncountable, plural meliorisms)

  1. The view or doctrine that the world can be improved through human effort (often understood as an intermediate outlook between optimism and pessimism). [from 19th c.]
    • 1966 May 6, "Forever Beginning," Time:
      At the convention, the official mood was traditional Methodist meliorism.
    • 2002, Colin Jones, The Great Nation, Penguin 2003, page 371:
      Enclaves of meritocratic and virtuous sociability, the lodges exuded [] a thoroughgoing meliorism.

Derived termsEdit



  • meliorism” in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present.
  • meliorism” in Microsoft's Encarta World English Dictionary, North American Edition (2007)
  • "meliorism" at Rhymezone (Datamuse, 2006)
  • Oxford English Dictionary, second edition (1989)
  • Dictionary of Philosophy, Dagobert D. Runes (editor), Philosophical Library, 1962; see: "Meliorism" by Archie J. Bahm, page 195