com·mer·cial·ism | \kə-ˈmər-shə-ˌli-zəm \

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 \ noun
commercialistic \kə-ˌmər-shə-ˈli-stik \ 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 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 The books confirm artists who used the various platforms to comment on commercialism, brand identity and pop music iconography. Randall Roberts,, "The Art of De-Evolution: Mark Mothersbaugh and Gerald Casale discuss two new books that celebrate punk band Devo's visual work," 12 July 2018 Forfeiting tens of millions of dollars all because the event would rather not pollute its brand with commercialism. Jon Wertheim,, "Mailbag: Is Current Form or Past Slam Performance a Better Indicator of Success in Majors?," 27 June 2018 At one time, blatant commercialism by fine artists was considered gauche (Murakami included a Vuitton gift shop in the middle of a 2007 exhibition in Los Angeles; some reviewers clasped their pearls in horror.). Gaile Robinson, star-telegram, "The Modern goes big and bright with international art star Murakami retrospective," 8 June 2018 Next came a semi-orderly downsizing of his wine label, Bonny Doon, prompted by fears of its being corrupted by too much commercialism. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "A Vintner’s Quest to Create a Truly American Wine," 14 May 2018 Not just on Mother’s Day, which is a single day, loaded with expectations, freighted with commercialism. Heidi Stevens,, "This Mother's Day, let's stop pretending clean countertops bring us joy," 4 May 2018 Both the grown-up video service and the YouTube Kids app have been criticized by child advocates for their commercialism and for the failures of a screening system that relies on artificial intelligence. Washington Post, "YouTube overhauls kids’ app after complaints about content," 25 Apr. 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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Last Updated

20 Oct 2018

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The first known use of commercialism was in 1849

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English Language Learners Definition of commercialism

: 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).


exaggeratedly or childishly emotional

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