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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ Bella's puncturing of William's nostalgic romanticism with her admission that she never really fancied him.
▪ He follows Cohen's bittersweet romanticism with a solid dose of Sonic Youth.
▪ It effectively conjured up the mixture of religion, fighting prowess and romanticism which the Legion held so dear.
▪ It is in one movement, imbued throughout with profound melancholy, yet breathing a spirit of Viennese romanticism.
▪ There, during the war, the Allies were caught up in a jumble of intrigue, political romanticism and oriental exoticism.
▪ When I was an undergraduate student studying sociology we were all warned of the dangers of romanticism.
▪ With both laughter and irritation Phoebe had returned to consciousness ironically amused at how nature could behave with such excessive romanticism.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Romanticism \Ro*man"ti*cism\, n. [CF. It. romanticismo, F. romantisme, romanticisme.] A fondness for romantic characteristics or peculiarities; specifically, in modern literature, an aiming at romantic effects; -- applied to the productions of a school of writers who sought to revive certain medi?val forms and methods in opposition to the so-called classical style.

He [Lessing] may be said to have begun the revolt from pseudo-classicism in poetry, and to have been thus unconsciously the founder of romanticism.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

1803, "a romantic idea," from romantic + -ism. In literature, 1823 in reference to a movement toward medieval forms (especially in reaction to classical ones) it has an association now more confined to Romanesque. The movement began in German and spread to England and France. Generalized sense of "a tendency toward romantic ideas" is first recorded 1840.


n. A romantic quality, spirit or action

  1. n. impractical romantic ideals and attitudes

  2. a movement in literature and art during the late 18th and early 19th centuries that celebrated nature rather than civilization; "romanticism valued imagination and emotion over rationality" [ant: classicism]

  3. an exciting and mysterious quality (as of a heroic time or adventure) [syn: romance]


Romanticism (also the Romantic era or the Romantic period) was an artistic, literary, musical and intellectual movement that originated in Europe toward the end of the 18th century and in most areas was at its peak in the approximate period from 1800 to 1850. Romanticism was characterized by its emphasis on emotion and individualism as well as glorification of all the past and nature, preferring the medieval rather than the classical. It was partly a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, the aristocratic social and political norms of the Age of Enlightenment, and the scientific rationalization of nature. It was embodied most strongly in the visual arts, music, and literature, but had a major impact on historiography, education, and the natural sciences. It had a significant and complex effect on politics, and while for much of the Romantic period it was associated with liberalism and radicalism, its long-term effect on the growth of nationalism was perhaps more significant.

The movement emphasized intense emotion as an authentic source of aesthetic experience, placing new emphasis on such emotions as apprehension, horror and terror, and awe—especially that experienced in confronting the new aesthetic categories of the sublimity and beauty of nature. It considered folk art and ancient custom to be noble statuses, but also valued spontaneity, as in the musical impromptu. In contrast to the rational and Classicist ideal models, Romanticism revived medievalism and elements of art and narrative perceived as authentically medieval in an attempt to escape population growth, early urban sprawl, and industrialism.

Although the movement was rooted in the German Sturm und Drang movement, which preferred intuition and emotion to the rationalism of the Enlightenment, the events and ideologies of the French Revolution were also proximate factors. Romanticism assigned a high value to the achievements of "heroic" individualists and artists, whose examples, it maintained, would raise the quality of society. It also promoted the individual imagination as a critical authority allowed of freedom from classical notions of form in art. There was a strong recourse to historical and natural inevitability, a Zeitgeist, in the representation of its ideas. In the second half of the 19th century, Realism was offered as a polar opposite to Romanticism. The decline of Romanticism during this time was associated with multiple processes, including social and political changes and the spread of nationalism.

Romanticism (journal)

Romanticism (print: , online: ) is a triannual peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to Romantic studies, focusing on the period 1750-1850. It was established in 1995 and is published by Edinburgh University Press.

Usage examples of "romanticism".

His romanticism is very Russian, genuinely akin to the spirit of Russian folk song and folk tales.

Schumann now, but a Chopin berceuse, whose romanticism he found absolutely unbearable.

It too is concerned with the inner state, and with an attempt to resolve the modern incoherence, to marry romanticism with naturalism, to order science, rationalism and democracy while at the same time highlighting their shortcomings and deficiencies.

This theme attracted the sympathy of liberals everywhere, especially in the political context of a powerful conservative ascendancy in Western Europe and in the cultural context of philhellenic ideologies that had entered widely into European classicism and Romanticism.

There is a looseness and lushness, a romanticism and balladry, in the work, that is not quite characteristic.

The transposing of Leone Leoni is just this, and the romanticism of it delighted Liszt.

They were in the centre, and surrounding them were Clark Bennington with a pipe and stick and a look of faded romanticism in his eyes, J.

Hortense, Pauline, have all the grace and fascination of the earlier age, merge with it the abandon of the Directoire period, and touch the whole with the romanticism and individualism of the coming century.

The intensity, the lyricism, the romanticism of love in these last two cases has struck some readers as impermissibly old-fashioned.

The romanticism of a Ruritanian shooting-lodge might easily become a thin cardboard affair, concluded Van der Valk.

We hear a great deal about romanticism as contradistinguished from classicism, but it is seldom that we have the line of demarcation between the two tendencies or schools drawn for us.

In the larger study of the opera made in another place, I have attempted to show that the contest is in reality the one which is always waging between the principles of romanticism and classicism, a contest which is essentially friendly and necessary to progress.

In him, Spade's hard-edged, cryptic cynicism and Marlowe's moral romanticism are replaced with a sort of sympathetic applied psychology.

A streak of romanticism, which had survived all their defeats and humblings, welled up in them.

There was a strong streak of romanticism in her complex personality, and there was that old Prussian rectitude that made her record every broken teacup in a notebook.