conspicuous consumption


: lavish or wasteful spending thought to enhance social prestige

Examples of conspicuous consumption in a Sentence

a culture of conspicuous consumption
Recent Examples on the Web To become Edna, Humphries would put on a mauve wig, an increasingly rococo pair of eyeglasses and a glittering gown that screeched conspicuous consumption. Ben Brantley, New York Times, 24 Apr. 2023 At a moment when virtue signalling pervades conspicuous consumption, plenty of collectors want art that validates their politics and affirms their world view. Ariel Levy, The New Yorker, 31 July 2023 View Photos Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG A Phantom owner's conspicuous consumption is matched by the car's penchant for consuming fuel. Becca Hackett, Car and Driver, 21 July 2023 But internally the situation was stagnant: the same people in charge, the same rhetoric about the West, the same ideological mishmash of Soviet nostalgia, Russian Orthodoxy, and conspicuous consumption. Keith Gessen, The New Yorker, 21 Feb. 2023 Kevin Frayer—Getty Images Four months after China’s chaotic opening from COVID-zero, conspicuous consumption in China has returned, and the country has continued its long-running love affair with luxury goods. Nicholas Gordon, Fortune, 15 Apr. 2023 Such conspicuous consumption by the ruling family is at odds with North Korea’s socialist ideology and officially banned under United Nations sanctions, but North Korea’s elite continue to defy the sanctions, experts say. Min Joo Kim, Washington Post, 23 Mar. 2023 The museum’s curator of globalization hopes that visitors will get a window in on the impact of conspicuous consumption, and also absorb the message that recycling and repair can help lessen the burden. Alicia Ault, Smithsonian Magazine, 12 July 2023 As a teenage Reaganite outfitted in a suit and armed with a briefcase, Fox’s Keaton embodied the newfound spirit of conspicuous consumption. Brent Lang, Variety, 11 May 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'conspicuous consumption.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1899, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of conspicuous consumption was in 1899

Dictionary Entries Near conspicuous consumption

Cite this Entry

“Conspicuous consumption.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2023.

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