I am looking for a word for phrase for when a word (usually a noun) is broken down into "simpler" words. It might also have derogatory undertones but that is not necessary.

Example 1: Soccer is just "guys kicking a ball"

Example 2: Origami is just "folding paper nicely"


1 Answer 1


You can try reductionism, defined by Merriam Webster as

A procedure or theory that reduces complex data and phenomena to simple terms.

Also see reductionism, defined by oxford dictionary online as

The practice of analyzing and describing a complex phenomenon in terms of phenomena that are held to represent a simpler or more fundamental level, especially when this is said to provide a sufficient explanation.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.