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 cooling solution also creates an environment to make fields safer and playable since synthetic turf temperatures can exceed 150 degrees in Florida during warm weather months. Alex Kushel, sun-sentinel.com, "Somerset Academy Canyons installs new turf field," 9 Oct. 2020 By Thursday morning, Delta was moving through an environment that favored strengthening. Mark Schleifstein, NOLA.com, "Delta threatens southwest, central Louisiana coast with Category 2 winds, surge, flooding rains," 8 Oct. 2020 Texans fans are coming into an environment that has safety protocols in place. Cameron Fields, cleveland, "How all 32 NFL teams are managing fan attendance during the pandemic," 8 Oct. 2020 That’s not exactly an ideal environment for social distancing. Riley Griffin, Bloomberg.com, "Operating Rooms Turn to Zoom-Like Technology for the Age of Covid," 7 Oct. 2020 Hot, sunny and dry conditions again created an ideal environment for the long ball. Beth Harris, Star Tribune, "Springer hits 2 HRs, Astros beat A's 5-2 for 2-0 ALDS lead," 6 Oct. 2020 From Amtrak workers to bus drivers, employees keeping U.S. transportation systems running are now facing months — perhaps years — of economic pain in an environment where millions are already out of work. Washington Post, "Halted stimulus talks undercut already ailing airlines and transit systems," 6 Oct. 2020 Teachers described spending countless hours working overtime to create new lessons from scratch, and redesign assignments to work in an online environment. Lauren Kent, CNN, "This World Teachers' Day, here's what teachers want you to know," 5 Oct. 2020 The rise in use of breaking pitches and cutters—especially the increase in use and spin of sliders and cutters—created an extremely difficult hitting environment. Paul Daugherty, The Enquirer, "Doc's Morning Line: 10 things from Cincinnati Bengals win over the Jacksonville Jaguars," 5 Oct. 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

14 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Environment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/environment. Accessed 22 Oct. 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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