anomie

play
noun an·o·mie \ ˈa-nə-mē \
variants: or less commonly anomy

Definition of anomie

:social instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values
  • The reforms of a ruined economy, under these conditions, brought about social anomie, desperation and poverty rather than relief and prosperity.
  • —T. Mastnak
; also :personal unrest, alienation, and uncertainty that comes from a lack of purpose or ideals
  • In the face of these prevailing values, many workers experience a kind of anomie. Their jobs become empty, meaningless, and intrinsically unsatisfying.
  • —Robert Straus

anomic

play \ə-ˈnä-mik, -ˈnō-\ adjective

Recent Examples of anomie from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of anomie

French anomie, from Middle French, from Greek anomia lawlessness, from anomos lawless, from a- + nomos law, from nemein to distribute — more at nimble


Medical Dictionary

anomie

noun an·o·mie
variants: also anomy play \ˈan-ə-mē\

medical Definition of anomie

:social instability resulting from a breakdown of standards and values; also :personal unrest, alienation, and anxiety that comes from a lack of purpose or ideals

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