com·​mer·​cial·​ism | \ kə-ˈmər-shə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce commercialism (audio) \

Definition of commercialism

1 : commercial spirit, institutions, or methods
2 : excessive emphasis on profit

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Other Words from commercialism

commercialist \ kə-​ˈmər-​sh(ə-​)list How to pronounce commercialist (audio) \ noun
commercialistic \ kə-​ˌmər-​shə-​ˈli-​stik How to pronounce commercialistic (audio) \ adjective

Examples of commercialism in a Sentence

the commercialism of modern society the increasing commercialism of the Christmas holiday

Recent Examples on the Web

The second stage in the life of an AirPods owner is buckling to the powerful forces of commercialism, breaking down, and actually purchasing the daffy Cupertino... Jason Gay, WSJ, "The Trouble With AirPods," 5 Apr. 2019 But the artsy scene and laid back feel haven’t changed much, thanks to strict city ordinances and the century-old Laguna Beach Art Association, which have kept commercialism in check. Andrea Bennett, Condé Nast Traveler, "First Look: Hotel Joaquin in Laguna Beach, California," 30 Nov. 2018 But there is a happy place in all of the commercialism: the experience of selecting and cutting your family’s Christmas tree. Andrew Northshield, Popular Mechanics, "How to Tie a Christmas Tree to the Roof of Your Car," 2 Dec. 2018 On top of that, the overtly commercial nature of fashion — versus the less acknowledged but very real commercialism of art — leads some people to dismiss fashion as an art form. Eliza Brooke, Vox, "A fashion exhibit just became the Met museum’s most popular show ever. Here’s why.," 12 Oct. 2018 All the tinsel and commercialism may be distasteful: The excessive and superrich food and drink; the fatigue leading to a really bad cold; the sense of nameless disappointment. Harper's BAZAAR, "How To Cope With Holiday Loneliness," 25 Dec. 2014 And the theater industry, despite some leeriness about creeping commercialism, has embraced it because of the talent brought to the story and the staging. Michael Paulson, New York Times, "Tony Awards 2018: ‘The Band’s Visit’ and ‘Harry Potter’ Prevail," 11 June 2018 The victory sent a strong message from Tony voters, who rewarded adult emotion and artistic integrity over commercialism and familiarity. Michael Paulson, New York Times, "Tony Awards 2018: ‘The Band’s Visit’ and ‘Harry Potter’ Prevail," 11 June 2018 In recent decades, Bierstadt’s reputation has suffered from accusations of commercialism and impolitic visions of the West; here he is largely rescued, but perhaps with too much fervor. Edward Rothstein, WSJ, "‘Albert Bierstadt: Witness to a Changing West’ Review: Where the Sublime Joins the Melancholy," 25 June 2018

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

1849, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for commercialism

Last Updated

5 May 2019

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Time Traveler for commercialism

The first known use of commercialism was in 1849

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English Language Learners Definition of commercialism

disapproving : the attitude or actions of people who are influenced too strongly by the desire to earn money or buy goods rather than by other values

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Comments on commercialism

What made you want to look up commercialism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


incapable of being surmounted or overcome

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