culture shock


Definition of culture shock 

: a sense of confusion and uncertainty sometimes with feelings of anxiety that may affect people exposed to an alien culture or environment without adequate preparation

Examples of culture shock in a Sentence

Foreign students often experience culture shock when they first come to the U.S. Moving to the city was a huge culture shock for him.

Recent Examples on the Web

Zach works with Doctors Without Borders, specializing in pediatric AIDS; Abby, a would-be actress, teaches yoga and struggles with culture shock. Margaret Gray,, "From Barden Bellas to 'Belleville': Anna Camp on playing more than the mean girl," 3 May 2018 But an Asian World Cup was a bit of a culture shock to many of the conventional superpowers and both host nations thrived in front of their enthusiastic fans., "5 Times Home Support Seriously Counted at the World Cup," 31 May 2018 Even those who had been on the orchestra’s 1992 Israel tour were feeling some culture shock about the city’s growth. David Patrick Stearns,, "Philadelphia Orchestra's first day in Israel: 'Want to hear more?' asks Yannick," 3 June 2018 For those able to put it all together, exiting Raqqa can invite culture shock. Tamer El-ghobashy, Washington Post, "My journey to Raqqa, the former ISIS stronghold in Syria," 7 May 2018 Even under-23s who go into the seventh division of men's football experience a massive culture shock and take months to settle in., "Youth Development: Why Under-23 Football Should be Scrapped in Favour of the Old Reserves System," 21 Mar. 2018 Although some American basketball players who go abroad suffer from homesickness or culture shock, Briscoe has no horror stories to tell. Josh Robbins,, "Orlando Magic, point guard Isaiah Briscoe reach deal," 5 July 2018 For Brooklyn-native Speier, his new home is still a culture shock. John Carlisle, Detroit Free Press, "Father, son bond writing U.P. bars book and it becomes a cult classic," 10 June 2018 Now two very different couples face a nine-month odyssey of culture shock, clashing values, changing attitudes and unlikely – but heartfelt – friendships. Matthew J. Palm,, "New Pegasus PlayLab theater festival brings new works to UCF," 7 June 2018

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

1932, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for culture shock

Last Updated

5 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for culture shock

The first known use of culture shock was in 1932

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More Definitions for culture shock

culture shock


English Language Learners Definition of culture shock

: a feeling of confusion, doubt, or nervousness caused by being in a place (such as a foreign country) that is very different from what you are used to

culture shock


Medical Definition of culture shock 

: a sense of confusion and uncertainty sometimes with feelings of anxiety that may affect people exposed to an alien culture or environment without adequate preparation

More from Merriam-Webster on culture shock

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Comments on culture shock

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


to reject or criticize sharply

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