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realism (n.)

"the doctrine of a realist," in any sense of that word, 1794, originally in philosophy, from real (adj.) + -ism; after French réalisme or German Realismus; from Late Latin realis "real."

In reference to scholastic doctrine of Thomas Aquinas (opposed to nominalism), it is recorded in English from 1826. Opposed to idealism in philosophy, art, etc. The sense of "tendency to see things as they are" is by 1817. The meaning in art, literature, etc., "close resemblance to the scene, representation of what is real in fact" (often with attention to unpleasant details) is attested from 1856 (Ruskin; compare realistic).

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Definitions of realism from WordNet

realism (n.)
the attribute of accepting the facts of life and favoring practicality and literal truth;
Synonyms: pragmatism
realism (n.)
the state of being actual or real;
Synonyms: reality / realness
realism (n.)
(philosophy) the philosophical doctrine that physical objects continue to exist when not perceived;
Synonyms: naive realism
realism (n.)
an artistic movement in 19th century France; artists and writers strove for detailed realistic and factual description;
Synonyms: naturalism
realism (n.)
(philosophy) the philosophical doctrine that abstract concepts exist independent of their names;
Synonyms: Platonism
From wordnet.princeton.edu