Philos. a doctrine of the late Middle Ages that all universal or abstract terms are mere necessities of thought or conveniences of language and therefore exist as names only, with no ideal realities corresponding to them
Origin of nominalismFrench nominalisme: see nominal and -ism
The doctrine holding that abstract concepts, general terms, or universals have no independent existence but exist only as names.
- (philosophy) A doctrine that universals do not have an existence except as names for classes of concrete objects.
nominal +"Ž -ism