en·​vi·​ron·​men·​tal·​ism | \ in-ˌvī-rə(n)-ˈmen-tə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce environmentalism (audio) , -ˌvī(-ə)r(n)-\

Definition of environmentalism

1 : a theory that views environment rather than heredity as the important factor in the development and especially the cultural and intellectual development of an individual or group
2 : advocacy of the preservation, restoration, or improvement of the natural environment especially : the movement to control pollution

Examples of environmentalism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Fonda founded her own dance-aerobics program in 1979 to fund the leftist Campaign for Economic Democracy; her bestselling book connected exercise to causes such as environmentalism and overcoming oppressive beauty standards. Natalia Mehlman Petrzela, The Atlantic, "The World That Jazzercise Built," 16 June 2019 The state’s environmentalism has produced many benefits. The Economist, "The environmentCalifornia is a leader on environmentalism," 21 June 2019 Participating in the Washington, D.C. program helped me gain insights into the connections between journalism, environmentalism, and community. National Geographic, "Meet Our 2018 Grant Winners!," 29 May 2019 The study examines the environmentally friendly German suburb Vauban, which already puts an emphasis on environmentalism. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Could We Re-Engineer A/Cs To Help Battle Climate Change?," 30 Apr. 2019 William first noted his support of the project at this year's Davos forum, interviewing Attenborough onstage about the new project and the broadcaster's lifelong dedication to environmentalism. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "David Attenborough's Our Planet: What We Know About the New Netflix Show," 25 Mar. 2019 The other strand of early anti-environmentalism ran through the South, where traditional Democratic dominance was in flux. Christopher Sellers, Vox, "How Republicans came to embrace anti-environmentalism," 6 July 2018 But for how frequent and grand Musk’s claims of environmentalism are, Tesla’s importance to sustaining the planet cannot be predicted. Aditi Shrikant, Vox, "Elon Musk: “Tesla cannot die”," 2 Nov. 2018 DiFranco has been a longtime outspoken advocate for human rights in every realm -- for women, for the LGBTQ community, for everyone -- with her environmentalism and anti-war stance and more. Thom Duffy, Billboard, "Ani DiFranco Finds More Support Than Ever for Her Biggest Causes as She Kicks Off Rising Up Tour," 14 June 2018

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

1917, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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14 Jul 2019

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The first known use of environmentalism was in 1917

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More Definitions for environmentalism


en·​vi·​ron·​men·​tal·​ism | \ -ˌvī-rən-ˈment-ᵊl-ˌiz-əm, -ˌvī(-ə)rn- How to pronounce environmentalism (audio) \

Medical Definition of environmentalism

: a theory that views environment rather than heredity as the important factor in the development and especially the cultural and intellectual development of an individual or group

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More from Merriam-Webster on environmentalism

Spanish Central: Translation of environmentalism

Nglish: Translation of environmentalism for Spanish Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about environmentalism

Comments on environmentalism

What made you want to look up environmentalism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to form ideas or theories about something

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