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Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1945 (n.); 1946 (adj.), from French existentialiste, from existentialisme (1940); see existentialism. Related: Existentialistic.


a. Of or pertaining to existentialism. n. A person who adheres to the philosophy of existentialism.

  1. adj. relating to or involving existentialism; "existentialist movement"; "existentialist philosophy"; "the existentialist character of his ideas"

  2. n. a philosopher who emphasizes freedom of choice and personal responsibility but who regards human existence in a hostile universe as unexplainable

Usage examples of "existentialist".

In very basic terms, existentialist philosophers attach primary importance to the here-and-now.

Sartre probably also contributed to the myth of Camus as an existentialist, simply because of his own fame as the leading existentialist philosopher.

It does not assume that literary criticism has a scientific method and it does not rely on any elaborated explanatory theory, such as existentialist philosophy, Marxist politics, or Freudian psychoanalysis.

Next evening, Profane was sitting in the guardroom at Anthroresearch Associates, feet propped on a gas stove, reading an avant-garde western called Existentialist Sheriff, which Pig Bodine had recommended.

Profane had difficulty getting back in the plot of Existentialist Sheriff.

But the poor Kessentai could find themselves having an existentialist moment in the midst of a full-up battle for survival.

Professor Sauerbruch, the surgeon, Heidegger, the existentialist philosopher, and Pinder, the art historian, took a public vow to support Hitler and the National Socialist regime.

Some were so far into the part that they sported long lank hair and beards, or black and white existentialist makeupwhat was the name of the chick who started the whole thing?

Camus shared with Sartre and the other philosophers called existentialists a number of common concerns and positions.

Camus belongs to a tradition that includes existentialists, but he wanted to mark his distance from them.

Goffists, Reparists, Papists, Royalists, Chartists, Communists, Fascists, Buddhists Methodists, Existentialists, or what you have.

For one thing, as both existentialist and Marxist, ontologist and political theorist, Sartre puts doing in the foreground for us.

Nevertheless we go on calling them Existentialists, and we are quite right to do so: as long as we use the term as a proper name, an agreed-upon semanteme, it is as good as any, or perhaps better, for signifying what unites the divergent interests.

It has deep significance for those who have lived through social chaos, uprootedness, irrational torture, and this accounts for the pessimism and nightmarish imagery that pervade much Existentialist writing.

But it was Runyon as revised by an absurdist writer in collaboration with a bleak existentialist.