men·​tal·​i·​ty | \men-ˈta-lə-tē \
plural mentalities

Definition of mentality 

1 : mental power or capacity : intelligence

2 : mode or way of thought : outlook the imperialist mentality of the nineteenth century— John Davies

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Examples of mentality in a Sentence

most teenagers do not have the mentality to foresee the consequences of such risky behavior

Recent Examples on the Web

There’s still a little bit of this mentality where the grass is greener in Europe. Sarah Hucal, Curbed, "Designart Tokyo, in second-annual event, shows promise," 27 Nov. 2018 In essence, Lacina’s analysis revealed that far more real people turned out to support Wendig than to revile him — and also highlighted the unexpected element of YouTube as a driver of alt-right mob mentality. Aja Romano, Vox, "The new troll: how bots and puppets make internet outrage seem louder than it is," 24 Oct. 2018 Our play-it-safe mentality in the second half got us steamrolled. Brad Stulberg, Outside Online, "Want to Perform Better? Play to Win.," 30 Apr. 2018 Beyond the aforementioned physical makeup, Mack also looks for a specific mentality in prospects. Jeff Greer, The Courier-Journal, "What is Chris Mack's recruiting style? A look at the new Louisville basketball coach," 28 Mar. 2018 Must America and the West return to a Cold War mentality and prepare for a type of Soviet Union 2.0? Author: Cal Thomas | Opinion, Anchorage Daily News, "The Russian (S)election," 22 Mar. 2018 That green mentality recently challenged engineers tasked with the design and construction of a new six lane bypass running 21km (more than 13 miles) north to south along the rapidly expanding city's western edge. William Steel, Ars Technica, "An inside look at how Sweden is building the world’s second-longest tunnel," 10 Mar. 2018 Goodrum’s mentality in Tiger Town is simple, though. Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press, "Niko Goodrum has leg up on competition for Detroit Tigers bench spot," 2 Mar. 2018 That mentality is one of the things that is most dangerous in our contemporary ethical life. Isabel Fattal, The Atlantic, "MIT Now Has a Humanist Chaplain to Help Students With the Ethics of Tech," 16 May 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'mentality.' 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 mentality

1691, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for mentality

Last Updated

13 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for mentality

The first known use of mentality was in 1691

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More Definitions for mentality



English Language Learners Definition of mentality

: a particular way of thinking


men·​tal·​i·​ty | \men-ˈta-lə-tē \

Kids Definition of mentality

1 : mental ability

2 : a particular way of thinking : outlook


men·​tal·​i·​ty | \men-ˈtal-ət-ē \
plural mentalities

Medical Definition of mentality 

1 : mental power or capacity

2 : mode or way of thought

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