Meaning of nihilist in English:



  • 1A person who believes that life is meaningless and rejects all religious and moral principles.

    ‘it is impossible to argue against a nihilist’
    • ‘This book was unabashed nihilist claptrap.’
    • ‘He was an atheist and a nihilist.’
    • ‘Was he a nihilist, was he an anarchist?’
    • ‘From the way you're talking about it, sounds like you're a nihilist, or at the very least suffering from clinical depression.’
    • ‘Myself, I'd call myself a nihilist.’
    • ‘To his critics, he appeared to be a pernicious nihilist who threatened the very foundation of Western society and culture.’
    • ‘Welcome to the nihilist void of the violent, misogynistic, and racist lyrics of rap.’
    • ‘We were self-indulgent moral nihilists - materialistic, selfish, and impulsive.’
    • ‘The perpetrators of these acts are nihilists who place no more value on their own lives than they do on ours.’
    1. 1.1historical A supporter of an extreme Russian revolutionary party c.1900 which found nothing to approve of in the established social order.
      • ‘The nihilists had many sympathizers in the literary and journalistic worlds.’
      • ‘His apocalyptic vision, like that of the Russian nihilists of the nineteenth century, is not going to materialize.’
      • ‘Following the assassination of his father, he rejected all plans of liberal reform, suppressing Russian nihilists and Populists.’
      • ‘A member of the Nihilist Party, in 1874 she was condemned to prison and sent to Siberia.’
      • ‘Expunging the symbolic evidence of the old order did not satisfy the revolutionary nihilists who wanted to clear the ground for a new cultural order.’