• WordNet 3.6
    • n nihilism a revolutionary doctrine that advocates destruction of the social system for its own sake
    • n nihilism complete denial of all established authority and institutions
    • n nihilism the delusion that things (or everything, including the self) do not exist; a sense that everything is unreal
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Nihilism Nothingness; nihility.
    • Nihilism The doctrine that nothing can be known; scepticism as to all knowledge and all reality.
    • Nihilism (Politics) The theories and practices of the Nihilists.
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Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n nihilism In metaphysics, the doctrine that nothing can really be known, because nothing exists; the denial of all real existence, and consequently of all knowledge of existences or real things.
    • n nihilism In theology, same as nihilianism.
    • n nihilism Total disbelief in religion, morality, law, and order.
    • n nihilism Originally, a social (not a political) movement in Russia, in opposition to the customary forms of matrimony, the parental authority, and the tyranny of custom. In this sense the word was introduced by Turgeneff in 1862. See nihilist, 3.
    • n nihilism Later, a more or less organized secret effort on the part of a large body of malcontents to overturn the established order of things, both social and political. Nihilism comprises several Russian parties, differing in the means of action employed and in the immediate results aimed at, some leaning more toward political radicalism and violence, and others toward economic reorganization and socialism. The movement originated about 1840, and is due largely to the influence of the universities. About 1855–62 it became increasingly democratic, socialistic, and revolutionary under the leadership of Herzen and the magazine “Contemporary.” About 1870 revolutionary ideas became the subject of a propaganda among workmen, peasants, and students. The adherents of this movement formed a “people's party” (“Land and Freedom”), purposing the complete overthrow of the existing order of things and the establishment of a socialistic and democratic order in its stead. Under the influence of Bakunin (died 1876)and the persecution of peaceful propagandists by the government the people's party divided into two factions, the “democratization of land” and the “will of the people,” the latter being the stronger. This party was by government persecutions driven to a political contest, and the idea of demoralizing the forces of the government by terror originated and became popular: the adherents of this system called themselves “terrorists.” After several unsuccessful attempts they effected the death of the Czar Alexander II. in 1881.
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Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • ns Nihilism belief in nothing, extreme scepticism: in Russia, a revolutionary socialistic movement aiming at the overturn of all the existing institutions of society in order to build it up anew on different principles
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Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. nihil, nothing: cf. F. nihilisme,. See Annihilate
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary


In literature:

Urbs illa mercibus omnium septentrionalium nationum locuples nihil non habet jucundi et rari.
"Notes and Queries, Number 48, Saturday, September 28, 1850" by Various
Christ who sought to wed nihilism with the struggle for existence, and he talks to you about courage.
"Tragic Sense Of Life" by Miguel de Unamuno
Nihilism arrives sooner or later.
"Ten Great Religions" by James Freeman Clarke
The Russian government is making an average of four thousand arrests a day of persons charged with nihilism.
"Peck's Compendium of Fun" by George W. Peck
Nihil ergo agebat Q. Maximus, nihil L. Paulus, pater tuus, socer optimi viri fili mei?
"Cato Maior de Senectute" by Marcus Tullius Cicero
Hos vero novos magistros nihil intelligebam posse docere, nisi ut auderent.
"A Dialogue Concerning Oratory, Or The Causes Of Corrupt Eloquence" by Cornelius Tacitus
The universality of the proposition really diminishes its apparent violence and nihilism.
"Hinduism and Buddhism, Vol I. (of 3)" by Charles Eliot
Recentibus nihil est fistulosum, haesitantque tanquam radicibus.
"Micrographia" by Robert Hooke
Nihilism, 236, 240, 241.
"The Religions of Japan" by William Elliot Griffis
Cogitato ... quanta solitudo et vastitas futura sit si nihil relinquitur nisi quod iudex severus absolverit (I., vi., 1).
"Shakespeare and the Modern Stage" by Sir Sidney Lee

In news:

The movie "15 Minutes" asks the question: is there a line between cynicism and nihilism.
Nihilism in the Guise of Transparency.
Starting with slapstick but descending into nihilism, the narrative revolves around would-be journalist Craig Mencken's increasingly frantic attempts to come to terms with an invasion of obnoxious aliens.
Menzie Chinn Joins Me in Nihilism.
Lana Del Rey Blends Naivete , Nihilism on 'Born to Die'.
Obama has failed, and his supporters are turning to nihilism.
Johnny Depp gets into the book biz with Infinitum Nihil imprint.
'Infinitum Nihil ' by Johnny Depp launched as HarperCollins' latest imprint.
Life of Wonder The nihilism of atheism.
NEW YORK — Anyone who had hoped that Green Day would finally bring punk-rock nihilism to Broadway is about to be sorely disappointed.
The political nihilism of Harold Ford Jr. Wednesday, 21 November, 2012.
The Rise of Republican Nihilism .
Nihilism Crashes Lumet and Coen Bros. BEFORE THE DEVIL KNOWS YOU'RE DEAD Running time 117 minutes Directed by Sidney Lumet Written by Kelly Masterson Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Ethan Hawke, Albert Finney, Marisa Tomei.
In Jordanian Camps, A Sense of Nihilism .
This kind of moralism is just as immoral as the amoral nihilism of those so-called " realists " who would have the US do nothing in situations like Libya.

In science:

Here we have used the fact that the beam splitter transforms the incident vacuum into the outgoing vacuum, ex nihilo nihil, as we easily see from the Wigner function (4.16) with zero initial amplitudes a1 and a2 .
Quantum Physics of Simple Optical Instruments
Lakhtakia showed that propagation is not possible in nihility metamaterial.
Focusing, Power Tunneling and Rejection from Chiral and/or Chiral Nihility/Nihility Metamaterials Layers
Tretyakov et al. extended this concept of nihility for the isotropic chiral medium.
Focusing, Power Tunneling and Rejection from Chiral and/or Chiral Nihility/Nihility Metamaterials Layers
Both layers are of chiral nihility metamaterials (cn-cn).
Focusing, Power Tunneling and Rejection from Chiral and/or Chiral Nihility/Nihility Metamaterials Layers
PEC and nihility backed chiral/chiral nihility layer are also discussed.
Focusing, Power Tunneling and Rejection from Chiral and/or Chiral Nihility/Nihility Metamaterials Layers