from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. The belief that improvement of society depends on human effort.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The doctrine that there is a tendency throughout nature toward improvement.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The improvement of society by regulated practical means: opposed to the passive principle of both pessimism and optimism.
- n. The doctrine that the world is neither the worst nor the best possible, but that it is capable of improvement: a mean between theoretical pessimism and optimism.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the belief that the world can be made better by human effort
Latin melior, better; see mel-2 in Indo-European roots + -ism.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin melior ("better") + -ism. (Wiktionary)