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meliorism

definition


Merriam-Webster’s Word of the Day for October 4, 2020 is:

meliorism • MEE-lee-uh-riz-um  • noun

: the belief that the world tends to improve and that humans can aid its betterment

Examples:

Meliorism is that comfortable midway point between pessimism and optimism, wherein its possessor conceives of her actions as capable of bringing about a better future.” — Will Self, Prospect, 12 July 2019

“An old truism holds that the pessimist sees the glass as half-empty while the optimist sees it as half-full. But active and engaged people don’t bother to measure the contents of their cups. They savor what they’ve got, drink it down, then go looking for a refill. One name for this approach is meliorism. Meliorists want to make things better—to ameliorate them.” — Andrew Fiala, The Fresno (California) Bee, 10 Nov. 2017

Did you know?

In 1877, British novelist George Eliot believed she had coined meliorist when she wrote, “I don’t know that I ever heard anybody use the word ‘meliorist’ except myself.” Her contemporaries credited her with coining both meliorist and meliorism, and one of her letters contains an early documented use of meliorism; however, there is evidence that meliorist had been around decades before she started using it. Whoever coined it did so by drawing on the Latin melior, meaning “better.” It is likely that the English coinages were also influenced by another melior descendant, meliorate, a synonym of ameliorate (“to make better or more tolerable”) that was introduced to English in the 1500s.

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Ken Saunders

Freelancer, Gadget collector, Biohacker

Ken Saunders is a freelance writer, gadget collector and Biohacker. Kens’ professional background is in Information Technology as well as Health and Wellness. His experience has given him a broad base from which to approach many topics. He especially enjoys researching and writing articles on the topics of Technology, Food, and all things Freelancing. His articles have appeared in many online sites, including Lifehack.media, Andrew Christian, Alltherooms.com and Vocal.media.You can learn more about his services at http://www.ken-saunders.info.

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