atomism

[at-uh-miz-uhm]
noun
1.
Also called atomic theory. Philosophy. the theory that minute, discrete, finite, and indivisible elements are the ultimate constituents of all matter.
2.
Psychology. a method or theory that reduces all psychological phenomena to simple elements.

Origin:
1670–80

atomist, noun
atomistic, atomistical, adjective
atomistically, adverb
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
atomism (ˈætəˌmɪzəm)
 
n
1.  See atom an ancient philosophical theory, developed by Democritus and expounded by Lucretius, that the ultimate constituents of the universe are atoms
2.  a.  any of a number of theories that hold that some objects or phenomena can be explained as constructed out of a small number of distinct types of simple indivisible entities
 b.  Compare holism any theory that holds that an understanding of the parts is logically prior to an understanding of the whole
3.  psychol the theory that experiences and mental states are composed of elementary units
 
'atomist
 
n, —adj
 
atom'istic
 
adj
 
atom'istical
 
adj
 
atom'istically
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

atomistic
1809, in ref. to the classical philosophical doctrine of atomism (1670s); modern philosophical sense (logical atomism) dates to 1914 and Bertrand Russell.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
In place of atomistic individualism these offered the feeling of belonging to a powerful group.
In effect, traditional atomistic simulations ignore electron temperature completely.
Electronic structure, quantum-based interatomic potentials, and the atomistic simulation of materials properties.
Lab team develops capability for atomistic simulations.
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