pas·​to·​ral·​ism | \ ˈpa-st(ə-)rə-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce pastoralism (audio) \

Definition of pastoralism

1 : the quality or style characteristic of pastoral writing
2a : livestock raising
b : social organization based on livestock raising as the primary economic activity

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Other Words from pastoralism

pastoralist \ ˈpa-​st(ə-​)rə-​list How to pronounce pastoralist (audio) \ noun or adjective

Examples of pastoralism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Our survey also revealed that hunting and foraging was generally replaced by pastoralism (raising animals such as cows and sheep for food and other resources) and agriculture in most places, though there were exceptions. Ben Marwick, The Conversation, "Surveying archaeologists across the globe reveals deeper and more widespread roots of the human age, the Anthropocene," 29 Aug. 2019 Today the national park has put measures in place to assure that pastoralism can work alongside conservationism: Farmers are insured and compensated if one of their animals is preyed upon by a wolf. National Geographic, "How to go wild in the French Riviera," 5 Aug. 2019 The Himba response to the aridity of Kaokoland is nomadic pastoralism. Stanley Stewart, Condé Nast Traveler, "Going Off-Grid in Namibia," 21 Dec. 2018 There is still a green thread of pastoralism, with Delius, Butterworth and Bax all represented, and Mr. Elder seems most comfortable in that idiom. David Allen, New York Times, "A Critic’s First Orchestra Defines Britain’s Musical Soul," 15 June 2018 Many conflicts play out in rural areas characterized by smallholder agriculture or pastoralism. Leah Samberg, USA TODAY, "World hunger increases for the first time in 15 years," 19 Oct. 2017 The human population of the reserve belongs to two main ethnic groups, Touaregs and Peulhs, totalling close to 20,000 inhabitants, whose main activity is nomadic pastoralism. Alex Treadway, National Geographic, "UN Announces 23 New Nature Reserves While U.S. Removes 17," 14 June 2017 The main livelihood activities are pastoralism (raising of cows, goats, sheep and camels) and/or subsistence farming — raising food crops for one’s household. Vincent Kituku, idahostatesman, "Drought produces famine in Kenya," 2 June 2017

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

1842, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for pastoralism

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The first known use of pastoralism was in 1842

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Cite this Entry

“Pastoralism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Apr. 2020.

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Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for pastoralism

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with pastoralism Encyclopedia article about pastoralism

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