nihilism (nI-<<schwa>>l-iz-<<schwa>>m).1. A doctrine maintaining that there is no rational justification for moral principles and that there is no objective truth. 2. The view that traditional beliefs are unfounded and that life is meaningless and useless. 3. A theory that the existing economic, social, or political institutions should be destroyed, regardless of the result, because of the basic undesirability of those institutions. • This theory, featured by Ivan Turgenev in his 1861

novel Fathers and Sons, was popular among Russian extremists until the collapse of the czarist government.

[Blacks Law 8th]