Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. One who advocates direct or radical action to secure a social or political goal in its entirety: "the maximalists . . . who want the undivided land” ( Arthur Hertzberg).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Preferring redundancy; tending to do or provide more rather than less
  • n. A person with maximalist beliefs or tendencies; someone who prefers redundancy or excess

Etymologies

Russian maksimalist, name applied in 1906 to an extreme splinter group of the Russian Socialist Revolutionary Party, ultimately from Latin maximum, maximum; see maximum.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From maximal +‎ -ist, by analogy with minimalist (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Jessica Antola Designer Jonathan Adler's "maximalist" approach to design is apparent upon entering the approximately 2,500-square-foot New York duplex he shares with his husband, Barney's New York creative director, Simon Doonan.

    Jonathan Adler's Whimsical Duplex

  • In general, though, I follow the "maximalist" approach of trying out a bunch of things all at once and seeing what works the best.

    Chris Guillebeau: How to Conduct Your Own Business Audit

  • As the Bang on a Can All-Stars 'all-Reich program Thursday at Strathmore amply demonstrated, the composer's musical means may be minimal -- layering simple lines of rhythm, shifting a repeated fragment of melody out of phase with itself, varying the color of a relentlessly hammered chord by spotlighting individual instruments -- but the resulting textures bubble and scintillate with an engagingly "maximalist" energy.

    Music review of Bang on a Can All-Stars at Strathmore Hall

  • It will also force Kurdish leaders to re-evaluate their insistence on "maximalist" demands that threatened to unravel Iraq.

    Iraq's Remarkable Election

  • Squashed uneasily between Russia and the smug democracies of Western Europe, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary all want to join NATO. One school of thought in the administration, led by Lynn Davis, under secretary of state for international-security affairs, pressed what one European diplomat calls a "maximalist" approach.

    'Don't Gloat' Wins The Day

  • That kind of "maximalist" strategy is unrealistic because many law schools simply do not have the resources to create new classes, programs, and research centers.

    Insular Law Schools

  • I would agree, however, that most people that come to mind when I use the word "maximalist" would definately think Dever is himself a minimalist.

    Is There a "Biblical Archaeology"? Some Comments

  • You seem to be using "maximalist" to refer to the position that the Bible is all true and that any criticism of the historicity of the bible makes one a minimalist.

    Is There a "Biblical Archaeology"? Some Comments

  • In considering William Wordsworth's sonnet "Composed upon Westminster Bridge" and Samuel Taylor Coleridge's The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, the essay investigates the virtues and vices of ambience, as opposed to a more Burkean, "maximalist" view of the natural world.

    Abstracts

  • This interpretation is faithful to anti-nationalist impulses behind the Bill of Rights, and it avoids the "maximalist" interpretation of the Amendment that would prohibit even much state regulation.

    To Keep and Bear Arms: An Exchange

Comments

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