environment

noun
en·​vi·​ron·​ment | \ in-ˈvī-rə(n)-mənt How to pronounce environment (audio) , -ˈvī(-ə)r(n)- How to pronounce environment (audio) \

Definition of environment

1 : the circumstances, objects, or conditions by which one is surrounded
2a : the complex of physical, chemical, and biotic factors (such as climate, soil, and living things) that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine its form and survival
b : the aggregate of social and cultural conditions that influence the life of an individual or community
3 : the position or characteristic position of a linguistic element in a sequence
4 : a computer interface from which various tasks can be performed a programming environment

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Other Words from environment

environmental \ in-​ˌvī-​rə(n)-​ˈmen-​tᵊl How to pronounce environment (audio) , -​ˌvī(-​ə)r(n)-​ \ adjective
environmentally \ in-​ˌvī-​rə(n)-​ˈmen-​tᵊl-​ē How to pronounce environment (audio) , -​ˌvī(-​ə)r(n)-​ \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for environment

background, setting, environment, milieu, mise-en-scène mean the place, time, and circumstances in which something occurs. background often refers to the circumstances or events that precede a phenomenon or development. the shocking decision was part of the background of the riots setting suggests looking at real-life situations in literary or dramatic terms. a militant reformer who was born into an unlikely social setting environment applies to all the external factors that have a formative influence on one's physical, mental, or moral development. the kind of environment that produces juvenile delinquents milieu applies especially to the physical and social surroundings of a person or group of persons. an intellectual milieu conducive to artistic experimentation mise-en-scène strongly suggests the use of properties to achieve a particular atmosphere or theatrical effect. a gothic thriller with a carefully crafted mise-en-scène

Meanings of Environment

Descending from the Middle French preposition environ “around,” environment , in its most basic meaning, is “that which surrounds.” When preceded by the and unmodified, it usually refers to the natural world (“please don’t litter if you care about the environment”). In a less physical, more extended sense, it may signify the circumstances and conditions that make up everyday life (“He grew up in a loving environment.”) The word may also be applied in highly specialized ways, denoting, for example, “the position of a linguistic element” (“how g gets pronounced in Italian depends upon its phonetic environment”) or “a computer interface from which various tasks can be performed” (“the app works in varied environments").

Examples of environment in a Sentence

He grew up in a loving environment. We're trying to create a better business environment. These animals were raised in a controlled environment. Many plants are unable to survive in such a harsh environment. Heredity and environment are both important. Pollution is bad for the environment.
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Recent Examples on the Web This week their Indie Week conference covers topics as diverse as NFTs (non-fungible tokens), International markets, financing of catalogues, elevating underrepresented artists, and what the future work environment might be. Eric Fuller, Forbes, 14 June 2021 This is the kind of environment our teachers are in. Bryan Schott, The Salt Lake Tribune, 13 June 2021 Mauro and Allison are fierce defenders of the lagoon's delicate ecosystem, and itineraries contribute to the sustainability of the environment. Pamela Mccourt Francescone, Travel + Leisure, 13 June 2021 Beck: What is the social environment like in the surfing community generally? Julie Beck, The Atlantic, 11 June 2021 But there are no clunky VR headsets — the entire game takes place in a private, white room in which the game environment is projection-mapped across the walls. Dom Difurio, Dallas News, 11 June 2021 That’s something the travel exec expects to be a lasting effect of the remote-work environment. Anne Sraders, Fortune, 9 June 2021 The magnitude of the environment’s role in the Syrian civil war is difficult to gauge because, as in the Celali Rebellion, its impact was indelibly linked to social and political pressures. Andrea Duffy, The Conversation, 7 June 2021 The environment in Vivint Arena will be much different than the Clippers’ only previous visit this season on Jan. 1, when 1,932 fans watched Utah’s 106-100 win. Andrew Greif, Los Angeles Times, 7 June 2021

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

1827, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Learn More About environment

Time Traveler for environment

Time Traveler

The first known use of environment was in 1827

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Statistics for environment

Last Updated

17 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Environment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/environment. Accessed 25 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for environment

environment

noun

English Language Learners Definition of environment

: the conditions that surround someone or something : the conditions and influences that affect the growth, health, progress, etc., of someone or something
: the natural world

environment

noun
en·​vi·​ron·​ment | \ in-ˈvī-rən-mənt How to pronounce environment (audio) , -ˈvī-ərn-mənt \

Kids Definition of environment

1 : a person's physical surroundings He lives in a comfortable rural environment.
2 : the surrounding conditions or forces (as soil, climate, and living things) that influence a plant's or animal's characteristics and ability to survive
3 : the social and cultural conditions that affect the life of a person or community a happy home environment

environment

noun
en·​vi·​ron·​ment | \ in-ˈvī-rən-mənt How to pronounce environment (audio) , -ˈvī(-ə)rn- How to pronounce environment (audio) \

Medical Definition of environment

1 : the complex of physical, chemical, and biotic factors (as climate, soil, and living things) that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine its form and survival
2 : the aggregate of social and cultural conditions that influence the life of an individual or community

Other Words from environment

environmental \ -​ˌvī-​rən-​ˈment-​ᵊl, -​ˌvī(-​ə)rn-​ How to pronounce environment (audio) \ adjective
environmentally \ -​ᵊl-​ē How to pronounce environment (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on environment

Nglish: Translation of environment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of environment for Arabic Speakers

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