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The Collaborative International Dictionary

Mediaevalism \Me`di*[ae]"val*ism\ (m[=e]`d[i^]*[=e]"val*[i^]z'm), n. The method or spirit of the Middle Ages; devotion to the institutions and practices of the Middle Ages; a survival from the Middle Ages. [Written also medievalism.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1846, from medieval + -ism.


n. 1 The state of being medieval 2 (context uncountable English) The study of the Middle Ages 3 A custom or belief from the Middle Ages.


Medievalism is the system of belief and practice characteristic of the Middle Ages, or devotion to elements of that period, which has been expressed in areas such as architecture, literature, music, art, philosophy, scholarship, and various vehicles of popular culture. Since the eighteenth century, a variety of movements have used the medieval period as a model or inspiration for creative activity, including Romanticism, the Gothic revival, the Pre-Raphaelite and arts and crafts movements and neo-medievalism (a term often used interchangeably with medievalism). Medievalism can also be used as an insult, implying conservatism and outdated attitudes. The words "medievalism" and "Medieval" are both first recorded in the nineteenth century. "Medieval" is derived from Latin medium aevum (middle of the ages).

Usage examples of "medievalism".

Our subjectivism is as different from his individualism as his modernity was from medievalism.

Welsh and English countryside at that time presented the strangest mingling of the assurance and wealth of the opening twentieth century with a sort of Dureresque medievalism.

In spite of the medievalisms he'd been seeing all morning, a cold-air movement coiled itself around his backbone.

I may affect a few Medievalisms, but I also know how people fought and starved and suffered long ago, and the Cities are better than that.