So basically, I want to use the word infallibilism in its adjectival form and I don't whether to write infallibilist or infallibilistic. I have to say the former sounds better for some reason.

An easier example may be with minimalism. Is it "Joe's idea of decorating a room is very minimalist" or "Joe's idea of decorating a room is very minimalistic".

An answer I anticipate is that both are possible, but I would like to know what exactly the difference is, for there must be a difference, if ever so subtle.


1 Answer 1


I would posit that -istic is usually an adjective, while -ist is usually a noun.

  • Heuristic can certainly be used as a noun. And statistic is always a noun. Mar 28, 2018 at 16:59
  • @FumbleFingers Excellent points! My theory lasted 5 minutes... haha! I will revise... Mar 28, 2018 at 17:03
  • Don't concede defeat too soon! They were the only two examples I could think of, and neither of them are "regularly-formed" in the same way as, say, artistic, realistic (where art, real are genuine "root" words; heur, stat just aren't like that). Mar 28, 2018 at 17:14
  • 1
    heur and stat do seem like outliers, but I changed "always" to "usually" in the first part of my answer. Good find! Mar 28, 2018 at 17:29

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