con·​sum·​er·​ism kən-ˈsü-mə-ˌri-zəm How to pronounce consumerism (audio)
: the theory that an increasing consumption of goods is economically desirable
also : a preoccupation with and an inclination toward the buying of consumer goods
… the contemporary marketplace is shaped solely by the craven needs of lowbrow consumerismThomas Byrne Edsall
: the promotion of the consumer's interests
consumerist noun or adjective
consumeristic adjective

Examples of consumerism in a Sentence

concerns about increasing consumerism among teenagers
Recent Examples on the Web For ‘day-ones,’ that loyalty extends beyond mere consumerism; it’s tied to a sense of identity and pride. Ebony Flake, Essence, 29 Mar. 2024 American culture, saturated with hollow nostalgia, consumerism and the militarism of the Reagan administration, seemed a dead end for Europeans looking for an alternative to the political malaise of the late 1980s. Philip Kennicott, Washington Post, 25 Mar. 2024 Its blend of Asian convenience and American consumerism could not exist without the free flow of people and ideas across borders and the contributions of immigrants. Frank Shyong, Los Angeles Times, 20 Mar. 2024 This global perspective reveals how themes of consumerism and mass media resonate across different cultures, highlighting the universal language of Pop Art. Nel-Olivia Waga, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2024 Adidas was the pivotal point for Stoute, as mentioned in his best-selling book The Tanning of America, outlining the impact of hip-hop music over a culture driven by early signs of consumerism. Cassell Ferere, Forbes, 12 Feb. 2024 Oh, the delicate needle to be threaded between climate-conscious consumerism and not consuming so damn much. Sammy Roth, Los Angeles Times, 27 Feb. 2024 This educational initiative offers you a deeper understanding of the artistic materials and processes used by Pop artists, reflecting on consumerism's impact on society and the environment. Nel-Olivia Waga, Forbes, 27 Feb. 2024 Black Friday was once a hallmark celebration of American consumerism. J. Edward Moreno, New York Times, 24 Nov. 2023

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

Word History


see consume

First Known Use

1915, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of consumerism was in 1915

Dictionary Entries Near consumerism

Cite this Entry

“Consumerism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


con·​sum·​er·​ism kən-ˈsü-mə-ˌriz-əm How to pronounce consumerism (audio)
: the promotion of the consumer's interests

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