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 Increasing diversity without concurrently striving to create an inclusive environment. Setche Kwamu-nana, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: Is investing in diversity like setting your money on fire?," 16 Nov. 2020 The lame-duck president has been very effective over the last four years in building an environment that many people view as hostile to women's rights. Jihan Forbes, Allure, "Jennifer Hudson’s Skin-Care Routine Has Given Her More Time for Self-Care," 15 Nov. 2020 Science cannot operate in an environment like that. Arkansas Online, "OPINION | JAY BHATTACHARYA: A compassionate covid strategy," 15 Nov. 2020 The latest news injected another dose of anxiety into an untenable operating environment for restaurant owners. Mark Kurlyandchik, Detroit Free Press, "Hard-hit metro Detroit restaurant industry prepares for another shutdown during key season," 15 Nov. 2020 After-hours company events, like clubs, social gatherings and professional network meetings offer valuable opportunities to make connections in an informal environment. Alex Janin, WSJ, "How to Build Meaningful Workplace Relationships," 13 Nov. 2020 Other techniques, like making thin film materials for solar panels, require an ultra-pure environment to prevent imperfections. Daniel Oberhaus, Wired, "The Plan to Turn Scrapped Rockets Into Space Stations," 11 Nov. 2020 Penney will exit into an uncertain environment of the pandemic on top of secular changes that were already rapidly transforming the retail business, but the only other alternative to a sale was liquidation, the court concluded. Tribune News Service, oregonlive, "J.C. Penney shows glimmers of light at end of bankruptcy tunnel," 10 Nov. 2020 Penney will exit into an uncertain environment of the pandemic on top of secular changes that were already rapidly transforming the retail business, but the only other alternative to a sale was liquidation, the court concluded. Maria Halkias, Dallas News, "Sale of J.C. Penney approved by bankruptcy court, giving the retailer a second chance," 10 Nov. 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

19 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Environment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/environment. Accessed 25 Nov. 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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