sur·​viv·​al·​ist | \ sər-ˈvī-və-list How to pronounce survivalist (audio) \

Definition of survivalist

: a person who advocates or practices survivalism especially : one who has prepared to survive in the anarchy of an anticipated breakdown of society

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Other Words from survivalist

survivalist adjective

Examples of survivalist in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web But Kelly Reichardt did set you up with a survivalist as preparation. Robert Abele, Los Angeles Times, "‘First Cow’ ‘gives the loneliest of us hope,’ say the film’s stars," 6 Jan. 2021 The urban-survivalist shop, near Macy’s department store, looks like a cross between an Apple Store and a pharmacy. The Economist, "A covid-19-themed shop in New York is thriving," 16 Dec. 2020 Each girl traversed a unique path before ending up on the island; hyper-competitive athletes, a conservative beauty queen, a genius-level bookworm, and an amateur survivalist are just some of the personalities that make up the group. Ineye Komonibo,, "Come On, Amazon — You Can’t Leave Us Hanging After Ending The Wilds Like That," 15 Dec. 2020 Byrne has been a survivalist since before the financial crisis. Sheelah Kolhatkar, The New Yorker, "A Tycoon’s Deep-State Conspiracy Dive," 7 Dec. 2020 The new series is aptly titled The Wilds, and its storyline is equal parts angsty teen drama and survivalist adventure — think ABC’s Lost, but if Sawyer and Hurley were teenage girls. Ineye Komonibo,, "Amazon Prime’s The Wilds Looks Like Lost Meets The Society," 20 Nov. 2020 Closer to home, Lanny Kaufer and author-survivalist Christopher Nyerges lead herb walks in Ojai and other parts of Southern California. Los Angeles Times, "What Norwegians can teach us about loving winter," 5 Nov. 2020 Arroyo recommended that everybody order a two-volume survivalist manual that sells for $96.49. Richard Ruelas, The Arizona Republic, "Experts warn that extremist groups are harboring 'violent fantasies' about the election," 31 Oct. 2020 The celebrity survivalist flies around in helicopters pointing at teams below, converses with on-camera race staffers and shows up at various points to check in on contestants who are shivering, bleeding or just nursing various aches and pains. Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, "'World's Toughest Race: Eco-Challenge Fiji': TV Review," 13 Aug. 2020

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

1970, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for survivalist

Time Traveler

The first known use of survivalist was in 1970

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Statistics for survivalist

Last Updated

16 Jan 2021

Cite this Entry

“Survivalist.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for survivalist


How to pronounce survivalist (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of survivalist

: a person who believes that government and society will soon fail completely and who stores food, weapons, etc., in order to be prepared to survive when that happens

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