environment

noun
en·​vi·​ron·​ment | \ in-ˈvī-rə(n)-mənt How to pronounce environment (audio) , -ˈvī(-ə)r(n)- How to pronounce environment (audio) \

Definition of environment

1 : the circumstances, objects, or conditions by which one is surrounded
2a : the complex of physical, chemical, and biotic factors (such as climate, soil, and living things) that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine its form and survival
b : the aggregate of social and cultural conditions that influence the life of an individual or community
3 : the position or characteristic position of a linguistic element in a sequence
4 : a computer interface from which various tasks can be performed a programming environment

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Other Words from environment

environmental \ in-​ˌvī-​rə(n)-​ˈmen-​tᵊl How to pronounce environmental (audio) , -​ˌvī(-​ə)r(n)-​ \ adjective
environmentally \ in-​ˌvī-​rə(n)-​ˈmen-​tᵊl-​ē How to pronounce environmentally (audio) , -​ˌvī(-​ə)r(n)-​ \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for environment

background, setting, environment, milieu, mise-en-scène mean the place, time, and circumstances in which something occurs. background often refers to the circumstances or events that precede a phenomenon or development. the shocking decision was part of the background of the riots setting suggests looking at real-life situations in literary or dramatic terms. a militant reformer who was born into an unlikely social setting environment applies to all the external factors that have a formative influence on one's physical, mental, or moral development. the kind of environment that produces juvenile delinquents milieu applies especially to the physical and social surroundings of a person or group of persons. an intellectual milieu conducive to artistic experimentation mise-en-scène strongly suggests the use of properties to achieve a particular atmosphere or theatrical effect. a gothic thriller with a carefully crafted mise-en-scène

Meanings of Environment

Descending from the Middle French preposition environ “around,” environment , in its most basic meaning, is “that which surrounds.” When preceded by the and unmodified, it usually refers to the natural world (“please don’t litter if you care about the environment”). In a less physical, more extended sense, it may signify the circumstances and conditions that make up everyday life (“He grew up in a loving environment.”) The word may also be applied in highly specialized ways, denoting, for example, “the position of a linguistic element” (“how g gets pronounced in Italian depends upon its phonetic environment”) or “a computer interface from which various tasks can be performed” (“the app works in varied environments").

Examples of environment in a Sentence

He grew up in a loving environment. We're trying to create a better business environment. These animals were raised in a controlled environment. Many plants are unable to survive in such a harsh environment. Heredity and environment are both important. Pollution is bad for the environment.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Founded in 2010 by a group of local archers passionate about four-season shooting in an urban environment, the range is all about creating community and having fun. Darcel Rockett, chicagotribune.com, "8 Chicago-area classes for adults to take when the kids go back to school, from cooking to filmmaking," 21 Aug. 2019 As Marcone wrote: The environment, the game world itself, could be simply summed as this: nothing short of a work of art. Sam Machkovech, Ars Technica, "Ars Technica’s favorite video games from our first 10 years, 1998-2008," 20 Aug. 2019 For more news on climate and the environment, follow @NYTClimate on Twitter. New York Times, "Trump’s Rollback of Auto Pollution Rules Shows Signs of Disarray," 20 Aug. 2019 The lawsuit alleges discrimination, a hostile work environment, retaliation and other counts. Washington Post, "Philly police head resigns as bias suit roils department," 20 Aug. 2019 Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are both activists for the environment, conservation and slowing the effects of climate change through charities and patronages. Rachel E. Greenspan, Time, "Elton John Criticizes 'Malicious' Coverage of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's French Vacation," 19 Aug. 2019 Our students deserve high-quality, safe learning environments. Ivana Hrynkiw | Ihrynkiw@al.com, al, "New UAB College of Arts and Sciences opens for fall semester," 15 Aug. 2019 But there’s no question that Rosen has adjusted to a really demanding environment, laid out by Flores and his staff, and is results that were slow to come at first are accelerating. Albert Breer, SI.com, "In Washington and Miami, Who Will Be the Starting Quarterbacks?," 15 Aug. 2019 The environment, the companies, and the culture all coddle you. Matt Sheehan, WIRED, "WFH: Chinese Engineers Abroad Come Back," 13 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'environment.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of environment

1827, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for environment

Last Updated

24 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for environment

The first known use of environment was in 1827

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More Definitions for environment

environment

noun

English Language Learners Definition of environment

: the conditions that surround someone or something : the conditions and influences that affect the growth, health, progress, etc., of someone or something
: the natural world

environment

noun
en·​vi·​ron·​ment | \ in-ˈvī-rən-mənt How to pronounce environment (audio) , -ˈvī-ərn-mənt\

Kids Definition of environment

1 : a person's physical surroundings He lives in a comfortable rural environment.
2 : the surrounding conditions or forces (as soil, climate, and living things) that influence a plant's or animal's characteristics and ability to survive
3 : the social and cultural conditions that affect the life of a person or community a happy home environment

environment

noun
en·​vi·​ron·​ment | \ in-ˈvī-rən-mənt How to pronounce environment (audio) , -ˈvī(-ə)rn- How to pronounce environment (audio) \

Medical Definition of environment

1 : the complex of physical, chemical, and biotic factors (as climate, soil, and living things) that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine its form and survival
2 : the aggregate of social and cultural conditions that influence the life of an individual or community

Other Words from environment

environmental \ -​ˌvī-​rən-​ˈment-​ᵊl, -​ˌvī(-​ə)rn-​ How to pronounce environmental (audio) \ adjective
environmentally \ -​ᵊl-​ē How to pronounce environmentally (audio) \ adverb

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Comments on environment

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