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

Each month, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex follow a different group of accounts on Instagram to highlight a different theme, be it mental health awareness, LGBTQ+ rights, or the environment. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Prince Harry Unfollow Everyone on Instagram for a Special Reason," 1 Aug. 2019 That was the case on the July has a particular 's students have to thrive under pressure, because the Dance Moms environment is always super intense. Martha Sorren, Woman's Day, "Abby Lee Miller Put Sarah's Dance Skills To The Test Against Studio 19 & Fans Say She Nailed It," 31 July 2019 Inside the aviary, there are several species of birds that freely fly through the environment. Amy Schwabe, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "You can train tigers, feed birds and climb to the top of a giant aquarium at the zoo's new tours," 31 July 2019 Those flaws created an environment that allowed Nassar to abuse dozens of gymnasts while volunteering for USA Gymnastics, and for his crimes to go unchecked for more than a year after the concerns were first presented to the USOPC. Eddie Pells, The Denver Post, "Overhaul would give Congress power to fire U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s entire board," 30 July 2019 Create a play environment where every character has an opportunity to contribute and every player has some time in the spotlight. Sam Ferguson, Ars Technica, "How to follow-up Pathfinder? Improve the game, don’t radically change its character," 30 July 2019 Prince said the new streetlights will create a more dangerous environment for birds and people. Katherine Rosenberg-douglas, chicagotribune.com, "West Nile virus could see an uptick in Chicago, a new study suggests. A culprit that’s saving the city millions could be to blame.," 30 July 2019 The latest example came this week, after the president cited viral videos that showed police officers getting water dumped on their heads, and suggested that the mayor was to blame for creating a lawless environment in New York City. Jeffery C. Mays, New York Times, "Trump Attacks. De Blasio Strikes Back, and Hopes Voters Notice.," 26 July 2019 Space: What kind of environment will the animal live in? Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "Why Pets Can Make Good Gifts, According to Animal Adoption Experts," 24 July 2019

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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Statistics for environment

Last Updated

10 Aug 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for environment

The first known use of environment was in 1827

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

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Comments on environment

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