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 In an interview on CNN, Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, indicated that football might have to follow the NBA’s lead and play in an isolated environment this season or not at all. cleveland, "Pro Football Hall of Fame Game between the Steelers and Cowboys is canceled; enshrinement ceremonies postponed amid coronavirus concerns," 25 June 2020 Rather than offer answers about what USA Gymnastics should do going forward, Athlete A closes on a hopeful note of what gymnastics itself can look like when athletes are removed from an abusive environment. Mahita Gajanan, Time, "The Story Behind Netflix's Athlete A, a New Documentary About the USA Gymnastics Sex Abuse Scandal," 24 June 2020 Typically, aluminum is found in the environment as aluminum salts or other compounds like aluminum citrate. Vincent Gabrielle, USA TODAY, "Fact check: Exposure to aluminum through food does not cause neural issues or cancer," 23 June 2020 Certainly, in an environment where millions are out of work, there isn’t a single person who would want to bring on tools that could replace human labor. Rick Lazio, Fortune, "How the U.S. should incentivize innovation during the coronavirus pandemic," 23 June 2020 Even louder speech releases thousands of droplets that can drift in the air for 8 to 14 minutes in an environment with stagnant air, according to research published in PNAS earlier this month. Melody Schreiber, The New Republic, "Behind the Conflicting Advice on Coronavirus Safety," 22 June 2020 Choi, an Asian American, said Republicans can create an environment within communities where people feel included and safe. Chris Sikich, The Indianapolis Star, "Curtis Hill defends himself and 6 other takeaways from Indiana Republican convention," 19 June 2020 Because Friends for Life's adoption center is an active environment and Mayla being a bit scared there, she can be seen by appointment only. Arizona Republic, azcentral, "Jackson and more pets up for adoption in Phoenix-area shelters this week," 19 June 2020 Does anyone see how football is possible in the current environment? Paul Daugherty, Cincinnati.com, "Doc's Morning Line: Does anyone see how football is possible with the current mess?," 17 June 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

28 Jun 2020

Cite this Entry

“Environment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/environment. Accessed 8 Jul. 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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