pas·​to·​ral·​ism ˈpa-st(ə-)rə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce pastoralism (audio)
: the quality or style characteristic of pastoral writing
: livestock raising
: social organization based on livestock raising as the primary economic activity
pastoralist noun or adjective

Examples of pastoralism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web The wheel was invented around the same time, and the two innovations, combined, allowed nomadic pastoralism to flourish. Manvir Singh, The New Yorker, 25 Dec. 2023 This Saharan pastoralism began well before food production got its start in Egypt, in 5200 B.C., when a full package of western Asian winter crops and livestock arrived. Jared Diamond, Discover Magazine, 17 Apr. 2023 How Bronze-Age Riders from the Eurasian Steppes Shaped the Modern World makes the case that a shift toward nomadic pastoralism enabled by the horse is the critical catalyst for the sweep of this language group from the Atlantic to the Bay of Bengal. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 16 Aug. 2010 These lands also have deep cultural significance based on their role in pastoralism or fire practices. Sutirtha Lahiri, Scientific American, 3 Mar. 2023 In Africa, the Pygmies and Bushmen have been absorbed or pushed aside by the demographic Bantu juggernaut, with a few other language groups also hitching a ride on the agriculture/pastoralism economy. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 18 Dec. 2010 Additionally, there is a strong correlation between pastoralism and lactase persistence. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 8 Sep. 2011 The Lake Chad basin in west and central Africa covers 8% of the African continent and is home to 42 million people whose livelihoods revolve around pastoralism, fishing and farming, according to figures from the Lake Chad Basin Commission. Time, 19 Jan. 2023 Other scholars delinked the arrival of Tutsi from the development of pastoralism and the beginning of the period of statebuilding. Razib Khan, Discover Magazine, 30 Aug. 2011 See More

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

Word History

First Known Use

1842, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of pastoralism was in 1842

Dictionary Entries Near pastoralism

Cite this Entry

“Pastoralism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 Feb. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on pastoralism

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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