sur·​viv·​al·​ism | \ sər-ˈvī-və-ˌli-zəm How to pronounce survivalism (audio) \

Definition of survivalism

: an attitude, policy, or practice based on the primacy of survival as a value

Examples of survivalism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Athleisure, gorpcore, workwear, and streetwear are all obvious antecedents, what’s new is the sense of survivalism. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "Has War-Core Replaced Normcore in Fashion?," 27 July 2018 As the disaster preparedness phenomenon spreads from the rich and eccentric into mainstream America, survivalism is becoming big business. Aaron Gilbreath, Longreads, "Suburbanizing Survivalism," 12 Dec. 2017 But in recent years survivalism has expanded to more affluent quarters, taking root in Silicon Valley and New York City, among technology executives, hedge-fund managers, and others in their economic cohort. John Carl Baker, New Republic, "Income Inequality Will Survive the Nuclear Apocalypse," 14 July 2017 In recent years, survivalism has been edging deeper into mainstream culture. Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, "Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich," 30 Jan. 2017 There was State of Decay 2, another zombie invasion survival game (exclusive to Xbox One and Windows 10), and The Darwin Project, an arena-style survivalism game (launch exclusive). Matt Peckham, Time, "Here's Everything Microsoft Just Announced at the Xbox E3 Show," 11 June 2017 But his clichéd life is rendered in clichés; his feral survivalism and his extended solitude are grossly oversimplified and underimagined. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "Wakefield," 29 May 2017 Around the same time that Huffman, on Reddit, was watching the advance of the financial crisis, Justin Kan heard the first inklings of survivalism among his peers. Evan Osnos, The New Yorker, "Doomsday Prep for the Super-Rich," 30 Jan. 2017

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

See More

First Known Use of survivalism

1928, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about survivalism

Statistics for survivalism

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for survivalism

The first known use of survivalism was in 1928

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on survivalism Encyclopedia article about survivalism

Comments on survivalism

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


tired or exhausted

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Where in the World? A Quiz

  • peter bruegel tower of babel painting
  • What language does pajama come from?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

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

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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