from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The act or practice of envisioning things in an ideal form.
- n. Pursuit of one's ideals.
- n. Idealized treatment of a subject in literature or art.
- n. Philosophy The theory that the object of external perception, in itself or as perceived, consists of ideas.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The property of a person of having high ideals that are usually unrealizable or at odds with practical life.
- n. An approach to philosophical enquiry which asserts that direct and immediate knowledge can only be had of ideas or mental pictures.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The quality or state of being ideal.
- n. Conception of the ideal; imagery.
- n. The system or theory that denies the existence of material bodies, and teaches that we have no rational grounds to believe in the reality of anything but ideas and their relations.
- n. The practice or habit of giving or attributing ideal form or character to things; treatment of things in art or literature according to ideal standards or patterns; -- opposed to
- n. a belief in the feasibility of the implementation of ideal principles and noble goals, and the practice or habit of pursuing such goals; -- opposed to
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The metaphysical doctrine that the real is of the nature of thought; the doctrine that all reality is in its nature psychical.
- n. Pursuit of the ideal; the act or practice of idealizing; especially, imaginative treatment of subjects; a striving after ideal beauty, truth, justice, etc.
- n. In art, the effort to realize the highest type of any natural object by eliminating all its imperfect elements and combining the perfect into a whole which represents Nature, not as she is exhibited in any one example, but as she might be.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. (philosophy) the philosophical theory that ideas are the only reality
- n. impracticality by virtue of thinking of things in their ideal form rather than as they really are
- n. elevated ideals or conduct; the quality of believing that ideals should be pursued
First attested 1796, from ideal + -ism. (Wiktionary)