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

  • noun The doctrine holding that abstract concepts, general terms, or universals have no independent existence but exist only as names.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The doctrine that nothing is general but names; more specifically, the doctrine that common nouns, as man, horse, represent in their generality nothing in the real things, but are mere conveniences for speaking of many things at once, or at most necessities of human thought; individualism. ,

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

  • noun The principles or philosophy of the Nominalists.

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

  • noun philosophy A doctrine that universals do not have an existence except as names for classes of concrete objects.

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

  • noun (philosophy) the doctrine that the various objects labeled by the same term have nothing in common but their name


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

nominal +‎ -ism


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  • The patient would stubbornly claim

    That things exist only in name

    Till a wild paroxysm

    Of nominalism

    Established that “traffic” can maim.

    February 21, 2019

  • "Nominalism is the doctrine that reality is just one unique thing after another, and that general truths about those things are simply conventions of language, simply names." from The Metaphysical Club

    October 16, 2021