le·​bens·​raum ˈlā-bənz-ˌrau̇m How to pronounce lebensraum (audio)
often capitalized
: territory believed especially by Nazis to be necessary for national existence or economic self-sufficiency
: space required for life, growth, or activity

Examples of lebensraum in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The experience of German and Japanese expansion profoundly shaped the work of midcentury thinkers like Morgenthau, who insisted that the search for lebensraum reflected more general laws of international relations. Daniel Bessner, Harper’s Magazine , 22 June 2022 The real object of Hitler’s imperial ambitions was lebensraum (living space) for German-speakers in the Slavic lands. Michael F. Bishop, WSJ, 25 Mar. 2022 This fit into the larger Nazi ideology of lebensraum, or living space, and a return to the heroic past. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, 31 Mar. 2017

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'lebensraum.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


German, from Leben living, life + Raum space

First Known Use

1939, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of lebensraum was in 1939

Dictionary Entries Near lebensraum

Cite this Entry

“Lebensraum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lebensraum. Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

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