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

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web The new name — Alma — was specifically chosen to reflect a warmer, more inviting environment in keeping with the relaxed feel that defines San Diego, Gregory explained. Lori Weisberg, San Diego Union-Tribune, 12 Aug. 2022 For more climate and environment news, follow me on Twitter @Sammy_Roth. Sammy Rothstaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 11 Aug. 2022 When the in-office experience is moved into a remote work environment, the same structures and processes in place don't necessarily translate as well as expected. Expert Panel®, Forbes, 11 Aug. 2022 Dinah Voyles Pulver covers climate and environment issues for USA TODAY. Dinah Voyles Pulver, USA TODAY, 11 Aug. 2022 Tara Duggan is a staff writer in The Chronicle's climate and environment team who focuses on the ocean, fisheries, food and agriculture. Tara Duggan, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 Aug. 2022 Christy Goldfuss, the senior vice president for energy and environment policy at the Center for American Progress, was working on Capitol Hill at the time. Chris Megerian, ajc, 9 Aug. 2022 Kenya’s economic progress has been held hostage by corruption, over-taxation, and unfavorable business environment, which have dragged down confidence among local and foreign investors. Faustine Ngila, Quartz, 9 Aug. 2022 Costume designer Youngjoo Hwang claimed the actor created an uncomfortable work environment, which Savage denied. Dory Jackson, Peoplemag, 9 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

First Known Use of environment

1827, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for environment

Time Traveler

The first known use of environment was in 1827

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Dictionary Entries Near environment

environ

environment

environmentalism

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Statistics for environment

Last Updated

16 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Environment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/environment. Accessed 16 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for environment

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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