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Meaning and Origin

What does the name Nihilism mean? Find out below.

Origin and Meaning of Nihilism

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Webster's Unabridged Dictionary
noun Ni"hil*ism
  1. Nothingness; nihility.
  2. The doctrine that nothing can be known; scepticism as to all knowledge and all reality.
  3. [Politics] The theories and practices of the Nihilists.

Etymology: L. nihil nothing: cf. F. nihilisme. See Annihilate

Other Dictionary Sources
  1. A revolutionary doctrine that advocates destruction of the social system for its own sake
  2. Complete denial of all established authority and institutions
  3. The delusion that things (or everything, including the self) do not exist; a sense that everything is unreal

From German Nihilismus, itself from Latin nihil (“nil, nothing”) + German -ismus (“-ism”), coined in 1817 by German philosopher Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi, but repeatedly 'reinvented'.

  1. (philosophy) A philosophical doctrine grounded on the negation of one or more meaningful aspects of life.
  2. (ethics) The rejection of inherent or objective moral principles.
  3. (politics) The rejection of non-rationalized or non-proven assertions in the social and political spheres of society.
  4. (politics, historical) A Russian movement of the 1860s that rejected all authority and promoted the use of violence for political change.
  5. The understanding that all endeavors are devoid of objective meaning.
    : fatalism
  6. The refusal of belief, that belief itself is untenable.

Fun Facts about the name Nihilism

  • How unique is the name Nihilism? Out of 5,933,561 records in the U.S. Social Security Administration public data, the first name Nihilism was not present. It is possible the name you are searching has less than five occurrences per year.
  • Weird things about the name Nihilism: Your name in reverse order is Msilihin. A random rearrangement of the letters in your name (anagram) will give Hmisnlii. How do you pronounce that?

What Nihilisms Have Visited This Page?

Past life for Nihilism born Sep 25, 1978

I do not know how you feel about it, but you were a male in your last earthly incarnation. You were born somewhere around the territory of Hungary approximately on 800. Your profession was map maker, astrologer, and astronomer.

Psychologically, you were timid, constrained, and quiet. You had creative talents, waited until that life to be liberated. Sometimes environment considered you strange. Your main lesson in present - to develop magnanimity and feeling of brotherhood. Try to become less adhered to material property and learn to have only as many, as you may give back.

Name poster for Nihilism

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  • Sources:
  • U.S. Census Bureau: Frequently Occurring Surnames from the Census 2000 (public domain).
  • 1913 Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary via the Collaborative International Dictionary of English (License)
  • Other Dictionary Sources: WordNet 3.1 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University (License).
  • Wiktionary: Titles and License.