follow Dictionary.com

Love words? Sign up for our Word of the Day!

great man theory

great man theory in Culture

great man theory definition


An approach to history associated with the nineteenth-century Scottish historian Thomas Carlyle, who declared, “The history of the world is but the biography of great men.” Carlyle argued that heroes shape history through the vision of their intellect, the beauty of their art, the prowess of their leadership, and, most important, their divine inspiration.

Note: Carlyle's theories have generally fallen out of fashion.
The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Word Value for great

6
7
Scrabble Words With Friends