materialism

play
noun ma·te·ri·al·ism \mə-ˈtir-ē-ə-ˌli-zəm\

Definition of materialism

  1. 1 a :  a theory that physical matter is the only or fundamental reality and that all being and processes and phenomena can be explained as manifestations or results of matter b :  a doctrine that the only or the highest values or objectives lie in material well-being and in the furtherance of material progress c :  a doctrine that economic or social change is materially caused — compare historical materialism

  2. 2 :  a preoccupation with or stress upon material rather than intellectual or spiritual things

materialist

play \-list\ noun or adjective

materialistic

play \-ˌtir-ē-ə-ˈlis-tik\ adjective

materialistically

play \-ti-k(ə-)lē\ adverb

Examples of materialism in a sentence

  1. the materialism of modern society

1733

First Known Use of materialism

1733


MATERIALISM Defined for English Language Learners

materialism

play
noun ma·te·ri·al·ism \mə-ˈtir-ē-ə-ˌli-zəm\

Definition of materialism for English Language Learners

  • : a way of thinking that gives too much importance to material possessions rather than to spiritual or intellectual things

  • philosophy : the belief that only material things exist



Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up materialism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to search out and expose misconduct

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • alphabet-magnets
  • Which is the correct spelling?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ