Acmeists – Definition & Meaning

Acmeists are a group of poets who emerged in Russia during the early 20th century. They were known for their focus on clarity and precision in their poetry, as well as their emphasis on the beauty of the physical world. In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of acmeists, as well as their origins, associations, synonyms, and antonyms.


The term “acmeist” comes from the Greek word “akme,” which means “highest point” or “summit.” Acmeists were poets who believed that poetry should strive for clarity and precision, and that it should focus on the beauty of the physical world. They rejected the symbolist movement, which was popular at the time, and instead sought to create poetry that was more accessible to the general public.


The acmeist movement emerged in Russia in the early 20th century, during a time of political and cultural upheaval. The movement was led by a group of poets, including Nikolai Gumilev, Anna Akhmatova, and Osip Mandelstam. These poets were influenced by the work of the French poet Paul Valéry, who emphasized the importance of clarity and precision in poetry.

Meaning in different dictionaries

The meaning of “acmeist” can vary depending on the dictionary. In the Oxford English Dictionary, it is defined as “a member of a group of Russian poets who rejected the mysticism and vagueness of the Symbolists and sought to express themselves in a more precise and direct manner.” In Merriam-Webster, it is defined as “a member of a group of early 20th century Russian poets who emphasized clarity, simplicity, and precision in their poetry.”


Acmeists were associated with a number of literary and artistic movements of the early 20th century, including futurism and constructivism. They were also associated with the Silver Age of Russian Poetry, which was a period of great cultural and artistic achievement in Russia.


Some synonyms of “acmeist” include precisionist, clarity poet, and direct poet.


Some antonyms of “acmeist” include symbolist, mystic, and vague poet.

The same root words

The root word of “acmeist” is “acme,” which means “highest point” or “summit.” Other words that share this root include “acmeology,” which is the study of the highest point of achievement, and “acmeism,” which is a philosophy that emphasizes the importance of achieving one’s highest potential.

Example Sentences

  • The acmeists rejected the mysticism of the symbolist poets and instead focused on clarity and precision in their work.
  • Anna Akhmatova was one of the most prominent acmeist poets of the early 20th century.
  • The acmeist movement was part of a larger cultural and artistic renaissance in Russia during the Silver Age of Russian Poetry.
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