materialism

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

Definition of materialism

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 (see 1matter 2)
  • scientific materialism
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 :a preoccupation with or stress upon material rather than intellectual or spiritual things
  • materialism, hedonism, and the overriding quest for personal gratification
  • —A. M. Schlesinger, Jr.

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

Recent Examples of materialism from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'materialism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of materialism

1696


MATERIALISM Defined for English Language Learners

materialism

noun

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



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