con·​sum·​er·​ism | \ kən-ˈsü-mə-ˌri-zəm How to pronounce consumerism (audio) , -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

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from consumerism

consumerist \ kən-​ˈsü-​mə-​rist How to pronounce consumerism (audio) , -​mər-​ist \ noun or adjective
consumeristic \ kən-​ˌsü-​mə-​ˈri-​stik How to pronounce consumerism (audio) , -​mər-​ˈi-​ \ adjective

Examples of consumerism in a Sentence

concerns about increasing consumerism among teenagers
Recent Examples on the Web Canceling student loan debt would increase the amount of consumerism going on throughout the country. cleveland, 6 June 2021 In the wealthier northern suburbs of Johannesburg, shops like The Unwrapped Co. are pioneering zero-waste consumerism, encouraging shoppers to reuse glass jars and containers when buying food in bulk. Kim Harrisberg, The Christian Science Monitor, 3 June 2021 There are more serious negatives to neophilia than mindless consumerism. Arthur C. Brooks, The Atlantic, 27 May 2021 Some of the earliest American zombie flicks by George Romero were charged with the racial tensions of the 1960s or the mindless consumerism of the 1970s. Los Angeles Times, 23 Feb. 2021 This was the very secret to consumerism working in a savvy, self-conscious culture. Dana Spiotta, Vogue, 20 Apr. 2021 Durbin encourages us to recognize our urges in these characters’ need to collect, and by extension, our complicity in consumerism. Alyse Burnside, The Atlantic, 19 Apr. 2021 The public’s fascination with conspicuous consumerism guided much of the original reporting on this groundbreaking NFT and took away (initially) from the far-reaching impacts of the technology. Jeff Gapusan, Forbes, 7 Apr. 2021 Moments of social, political, and economic upheaval in the past year have transformed our relationships to consumerism within a society that believes firmly in the idea of voting with your dollar. Tracey Lindeman, Fortune, 29 Mar. 2021

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.

See More

First Known Use of consumerism

1915, in the meaning defined at sense 2

History and Etymology for consumerism

see consume

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About consumerism

Time Traveler for consumerism

Time Traveler

The first known use of consumerism was in 1915

See more words from the same year

Statistics for consumerism

Last Updated

22 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Consumerism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Jun. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for consumerism



English Language Learners Definition of consumerism

often disapproving
: 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

More from Merriam-Webster on consumerism

Nglish: Translation of consumerism for Spanish Speakers Encyclopedia article about consumerism


Test Your Vocabulary

Return of Name that Color!

  • a light greenish blue color
  • Name that color:
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!