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 environmental (audio) , -​ˌvī(-​ə)r(n)-​ \ adjective
environmentally \ in-​ˌvī-​rə(n)-​ˈmen-​tᵊl-​ē How to pronounce environmentally (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 The company also discontinued the use of cash for payment and, while Schulman stresses that Cava very much cares about its impact on the environment, all multi-use utensils, bowls and trays have been removed from dining rooms. Rachel King, Fortune, "Restaurant owners want and need more guidance on how to reopen from government officials," 13 May 2020 The veterans homes operate in a regulatory environment divided between the states, which manage them, and the VA, which inspects them and pays for much of the care. David Armstrong, ProPublica, "Superintendent Bragged About VA Review of Short-Staffed Soldiers Home. Two Months Later, 73 Veterans Are Dead.," 11 May 2020 The package of initiatives is aimed at prodding industry and consumers to embrace products and systems that are easier on the environment. Marek Strzelecki, Bloomberg.com, "Brussels Edition: Poland’s Trouble With the Law," 10 May 2020 Washing clothes can also have a detrimental effect on the environment, especially because of synthetic materials like polyester that contain plastic fibers. Isabelle Gerretsen And Ivana Kottasová, CNN, "The world is paying a high price for cheap clothes," 3 May 2020 Learning to navigate a novel environment with scarce resources was daunting, but possible. Lakshmi Ramachandran, STAT, "A service trip to Peru offers lessons for treating Covid-19 in the U.S.," 2 May 2020 Amid a difficult economic environment, Tesla eked out a profit last quarter, the company’s third successive quarter in the green. Colin Beresford, Car and Driver, "Other Automakers Paid Tesla a Record $354 Million Last Quarter," 2 May 2020 This positive impact on the environment has happened because so many people stayed home. Ashlea Halpern, Condé Nast Traveler, "I'm a Park Ranger and I'm Worried About the Future of National Parks," 30 Apr. 2020 Wi-Fi 5 had a theoretical top speed of 3.5 gigabits per second, but real world speeds are always slower depending on the environment. Jim Rossman, Dallas News, "What is Wi-Fi 6?," 23 Apr. 2020

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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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 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Environment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/environment. Accessed 24 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for environment

environment

noun
How to pronounce environment (audio) How to pronounce environment (audio)

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 environmental (audio) \ adjective
environmentally \ -​ᵊl-​ē How to pronounce environmentally (audio) \ adverb

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Comments on environment

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