noun, often capitalized
le·​bens·​raum | \ ˈlā-bənz-ˌrau̇m How to pronounce lebensraum (audio) , -bən(t)s- \

Definition of lebensraum

1 : territory believed especially by Nazis to be necessary for national existence or economic self-sufficiency
2 : 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 example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'lebensraum.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of lebensraum

1939, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for lebensraum

German, from Leben living, life + Raum space

Learn More About lebensraum

Time Traveler for lebensraum

Time Traveler

The first known use of lebensraum was in 1939

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near lebensraum




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for lebensraum

Last Updated

24 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Lebensraum.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/lebensraum. Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Words Named After People

  • name tags
  • Namesake of the leotard, Jules Léotard had what profession?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!