from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Of or having to do with atoms or atomism.
  • adjective Consisting of many separate, often disparate elements.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Pertaining to atomism or the atomists.
  • Consisting of atoms.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective rare Of or pertaining to atoms; relating to atomism.
  • adjective divided into separate and often disparate elements; -- the opposite of holistic.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Of or pertaining to atoms or to atomism
  • adjective Divided into separate elements; not holistic
  • adjective economics (said of a market) divided such that no single actor can noticeably affect market-wide values such as the price; competitive

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective divided into separate and often disparate elements


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • This doctrine which I call atomistic and which appears to be anti-historical, reveals from under a concealing cloak a strongly materialistic nature.

    Readings on Fascism and National Socialism Selected by members of the department of philosophy, University of Colorado

  • Here, Norton (2001) objects to an "atomistic" bias of western culture towards objects.


  • The danger is therefore not application of technology for the objective but "atomistic" nature of "man".

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  • In microeconomics, in the course of teaching about the theory of the firm, I must lead students to an understanding that the beauty and purity of Adam Smith's paradigm of free markets simply does not apply to most situations because the very force of greed that makes capitalism such a powerful engine of innovation and efficiency is also, concomitantly, the force that ultimately wrecks the "atomistic" model of competitive forces that allow prices to form by a natural process not under the control of any one agent or group of agents.

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  • And those tribal identities in turn enable coordination and cooperation on a scale that just wouldn't be possible in a completely atomistic world.

    A Childish Question About Immigration, Bryan Caplan | EconLog | Library of Economics and Liberty

  • Spontaneous movements have sprung up to counter this trend, drawing upon the most powerful force known to any polity: the aggregated atomistic decisions of the people.

    Paul Schwennesen: Too Big Has Failed... Occupy Wall Street and the Tea Party Are Similar

  • Why is individual ownership of a book atomistic compared to individual ownership of a house?

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  • Heller would say that atomistic ownership of a house is ok, but not atomistic ownership of a shingle.

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  • Without customs and shared beliefs to breathe life into democracy and the market, we are reduced to the Darwinian struggle of atomistic and selfish actors that many on the left rightfully see as inhuman.

    Literature and the Search for Liberty

  • Forbes: Do you think, looking to the future, there'll be more negotiations such as these bilateral free-trade agreements or, I love the word you had, pluri-lateral, which is these counterfeit negotiations, instead of one comprehensive negotiation, there will be a lot of atomistic negotiations?

    Transcript: Pascal Lamy


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