Quiz: Remember the definition of mal de mer?
1836 in the religious or philosophical sense, from French nihiliste, from Latin nihil (see nihilism). In the Russian political sense, it is recorded from 1871. Related: Nihilistic.
1817, "the doctrine of negation" (in reference to religion or morals), from German Nihilismus, from Latin nihil "nothing at all" (see nil), coined by German philosopher Friedrich Heinrich Jacobi (1743-1819). In philosophy, an extreme form of skepticism (1836). The political sense was first used by German journalist Joseph von Görres (1776-1848). Turgenev used the Russian form of the word (nigilizm) in "Fathers and Children" (1862) and claimed to have invented it. With a capital N-, it refers to the Russian revolutionary anarchism of the period 1860-1917, supposedly so called because "nothing" that then existed found favor in their eyes.
nihilism ni·hil·ism (nī'ə-lĭz'əm, nē'-)
The belief that destruction of existing political or social institutions is necessary for future improvement.
A delusion, experienced in some mental disorders, that the world or one's mind, body, or self does not exist.