af·​flu·​en·​za | \ ˌa-(ˌ)flü-ˈen-zə How to pronounce affluenza (audio) \

Definition of affluenza

: the unhealthy and unwelcome psychological and social effects of affluence regarded especially as a widespread societal problem: such as
a : feelings of guilt, lack of motivation, and social isolation experienced by wealthy people Even so, psychologists are slowly recognizing that great riches are sometimes accompanied by a wealth of crippling emotional and psychological fears. Affluenza can be acute, striking lottery winners or newly minted doctors and M.B.A.s. It can also be a chronic and pervasive condition in families where riches extend through generations.— Anastasia Toufexis et al.
b : extreme materialism and consumerism associated with the pursuit of wealth and success and resulting in a life of chronic dissatisfaction, debt, overwork, stress, and impaired relationships Affluenza is particularly rampant in the United States, where we place a high priority on financial success and material possessions.— David Hawkins

Examples of affluenza in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Related stories from Fort Worth Star Telegram Tonya Couch, the 'affluenza' mom, is back in jail after failed drug test 'Affluenza teen' will have strict curfew, alcohol monitoring once he's released Forgive Ethan Couch? Bill Hanna, star-telegram, "Ethan Couch, the "affluenza teen," is out of jail. He left in a Tesla | Fort Worth Star-Telegram," 2 Apr. 2018 The drunken driving case gained national outrage after Couch received no prison time in the initial manslaughter case after the affluenza plea, as CNN reported. Linley Sanders, Teen Vogue, ""Affluenza Teen" Ethan Couch Has Been Released From Prison," 2 Apr. 2018 And remember Ethan Couch's infamous affluenza defense? Evelyn Wang, Esquire, "Thailand Will Now Punish Drunk Drivers by Sending Them to Morgues," 13 Apr. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'affluenza.' 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 affluenza

1973, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for affluenza

blend of affluence and influenza

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The first known use of affluenza was in 1973

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Cite this Entry

“Affluenza.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jan. 2021.

More from Merriam-Webster on affluenza

Nglish: Translation of affluenza for Spanish Speakers

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