WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2017
re•duc•tion•ism  (ri dukshə niz′əm),USA pronunciation n. 
  1. Psychologythe theory that every complex phenomenon, esp. in biology or psychology, can be explained by analyzing the simplest, most basic physical mechanisms that are in operation during the phenomenon.
  2. the practice of simplifying a complex idea, issue, condition, or the like, esp. to the point of minimizing, obscuring, or distorting it.
re•duction•ist, n., adj. 
re•duc′tion•istic, adj. 
  • reduction + -ism 1940–45


Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

reductionism /rɪˈdʌkʃəˌnɪzəm/ n
  1. the analysis of complex things, data, etc, into less complex constituents
  2. often derogatory any theory or method that holds that a complex idea, system, etc, can be completely understood in terms of its simpler parts or components

reˈductionist n , adj reˌductionˈistic adj



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