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[rel-uh-tuh-viz-uh m] /ˈrɛl ə təˌvɪz əm/
noun, Philosophy
any theory holding that criteria of judgment are relative, varying with individuals and their environments.
Origin of relativism
1860-65; relative + -ism Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for relativism


any theory holding that truth or moral or aesthetic value, etc, is not universal or absolute but may differ between individuals or cultures See also historicism
Derived Forms
relativist, noun, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for relativism

1865, in philosophy, from relative (adj.) + -ism. Cf. relativist.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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relativism in Culture

relativism definition

The doctrine that no ideas or beliefs are universally true but that all are, instead, “relative” — that is, their validity depends on the circumstances in which they are applied.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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