Etymology
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realist (n.)

17c., in philosophy, in senses clustered around the notion of "one who believes in the real existence of the external world, independent of all thought about it," from real (adj.) + -ist, and compare French réaliste. Also see realism. Meaning "artist or writer working by the principles of artistic realism" is by 1870.

updated on May 11, 2021

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Definitions of realist from WordNet

realist (n.)
a philosopher who believes that universals are real and exist independently of anyone thinking of them;
realist (n.)
a person who accepts the world as it literally is and deals with it accordingly;
realist (n.)
a painter who represents the world realistically and not in an idealized or romantic style;
From wordnet.princeton.edu, not affiliated with etymonline.