1. An inclination toward literal truth and pragmatism.
2. The representation in art or literature of objects, actions, or social conditions as they actually are, without idealization or presentation in abstract form.
a. The scholastic doctrine, opposed to nominalism, that universals exist independently of their being thought.
b. The modern philosophical doctrine, opposed to idealism, that objects exist independently of their being perceived.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.