con·sum·er·ism | \kən-ˈsü-mə-ˌri-zəm, -mər-ˌi-\

Definition of consumerism 

1 : 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 consumerism— Thomas Byrne Edsall

2 : the promotion of the consumer's interests

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Other Words from consumerism

consumerist \kən-ˈsü-mə-rist, -mər-ist \ noun or adjective
consumeristic \kən-ˌsü-mə-ˈri-stik, -mər-ˈi- \ adjective

Examples of consumerism in a Sentence

concerns about increasing consumerism among teenagers

Recent Examples on the Web

Ideal consumerism would be making educated purchases. Kerry Pieri, Harper's BAZAAR, "4 Chic Fashion Brands Doing Things Right, Right Now," 2 July 2018 By the middle of the 20th century, comfort, whether through clothing or products for the home, had become deeply entwined with consumerism, which was itself deeply entwined with American patriotism, citizenship, and self-identity. Linda Rodriguez Mcrobbie,, "Don’t get too comfortable: America’s relentless pursuit of convenience and relaxation," 19 May 2018 Gray said in reference to rampant and unsustainable consumerism that depletes resources. R. Daniel Foster,, "Vanishing act: Katherine Gray’s explorations in glass and light," 28 June 2018 The cheery professionalism of the staff, who cheerfully check your ID and direct you inside, underscores how quickly reefer panic can give way to consumerism and connoisseurship. Stephanie Schorow,, "What should marijuana opponents do when their cause fails? A lesson from Prohibition," 23 June 2018 Because there's nothing more American than mass consumerism, today's list is the Fourth of July edition of the Dealmaster. Ars Staff, Ars Technica, "Dealmaster: 4th of July sales on various gadgets and gear are underway," 3 July 2018 Evelyn is critical of the rampant consumerism surrounding her. Andrea Thompson, Chicago Reader, "Incredibles 2 : Who’s afraid of the superpowered woman?," 29 June 2018 The film explores the themes of American consumerism, veteran P.T.S.D., and the coming of age of a teenage girl. Nicole Sperling, HWD, "The Filmmaker Who Discovered Jennifer Lawrence Has Found a New Star in Leave No Trace," 26 June 2018 Mary’s story was about how consumerism and advertising control us, with the promise of shiny floors with no waxy buildup. Matthew Gilbert,, "Why Mary Hartman shouldn’t be forgotten," 21 May 2018

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

1915, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for consumerism

see consume

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Statistics for consumerism

Last Updated

2 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for consumerism

The first known use of consumerism was in 1915

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English Language Learners Definition of consumerism

: the belief that it is good for people to spend a lot of money on goods and services

: the actions of people who spend a lot of money on goods and services

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Comments on consumerism

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


evasion of direct action or statement

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