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 Such a move would have significant implications for everything from rent to congestion to migration in urban work environments. ... Harriet Torry, WSJ, "As Coronavirus Lockdown Rules Ease, Some Want to Keep Working From Home," 27 May 2020 State officials say the teams also received special training from the Texas Military Department 6th Civil Support Team, which specializes in disaster assessment and rapid response in hazardous environments. Kristi Nix, Houston Chronicle, "Statewide testing program aims to combat COVID-19 at Fort Bend County nursing homes," 26 May 2020 Lower latency means snappier webpage loading, better gaming, and generally better scale in dense environments. Jim Salter, Ars Technica, "OpenSignal compares 5G experiences across ten major carriers," 25 May 2020 Due to tropical aging, spirits age much quicker in hot and humid environments due to drastic expanding and contracting of the barrel. al, "Meet the man leading a rum revolution in Birmingham," 24 May 2020 Not so for his largely unheralded sequel, a mournful tale of Antarctica’s crumbling environment and the necessity of ecological unity to beat back the coming apocalypse. David Sims, The Atlantic, "30 Movies That Are Unlike Anything You’ve Seen Before," 23 May 2020 Jeremy Voyles, co-owner of Jeff City Boxing & MMA, initially thought gyms would be one of the last entities allowed to open because of all the close contact in their environment. David J. Kim, The Courier-Journal, "Indiana businesses hustle into Stage 3 as last-minute changes rush reopening plan," 22 May 2020 New work environment for Gayle has meant using a previously completely unused appliance — her oven. Emily Strohm, PEOPLE.com, "CBS This Morning Co-Hosts Celebrate 1 Year Together — Who's the Best 'Morning Person'?," 20 May 2020 The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences also changed its eligibility rules for films in light of the changing theatrical environment. Nick Romano, EW.com, "Tom Hanks film Greyhound makes surprise move to Apple TV+," 19 May 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

31 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Environment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/environment. Accessed 3 Jun. 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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