modern character, tendencies, or values; adherence to or sympathy with what is modern.
a modern usage or characteristic.
(initial capital letter) Theology.
the movement in Roman Catholic thought that sought to interpret the teachings of the Church in the light of philosophic and scientific conceptions prevalent in the late 19th and early 20th centuries: condemned by Pope Pius X in 1907.
the liberal theological tendency in Protestantism in the 20th century.
(sometimes initial capital letter) a deliberate philosophical and practical estrangement or divergence from the past in the arts and literature occurring especially in the course of the 20th century and taking form in any of various innovative movements and styles.
1737, "deviation from the ancient and classical manner" [Johnson, who calls it "a word invented by Swift"], from modern + -ism. From 1830 as "modern ways and styles." Used in theology since 1901. As a movement in the arts (away from classical or traditional modes), from 1929.