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 Unfortunately for them, Erin was raised on a survivalist commune in the Australian outback. Lena Wilson, New York Times, "I Know Where You Lived Last Summer," 29 Aug. 2019 The American Redoubt movement created by survivalist James Wesley Rawls designates eastern Washington, eastern Oregon and Idaho and Montana and Wyoming as a region for Americans to retreat to in the aftermath of civil war and government collapse. Washington Post, "Spying claims spur calls for Washington lawmaker ouster," 14 Sep. 2019 The routes lead to survivalist compounds, family cabins, drug dens, horse properties, hunting grounds or sometimes nowhere at all. Chelsea Curtis, azcentral, "Fugitive couple Blane, Susan Barksdale nabbed in Arizona manhunt," 11 Sep. 2019 McVeigh and Nichols were members of a radical survivalist group. Deb Kiner |, oregonlive, "‘Bombing in the Heartland’ in 1995 killed 168 people," 19 Apr. 2019 Remember Branch, the cautious, disgruntled survivalist from the children’s movie Trolls? Olivia Campbell, Good Housekeeping, "I've Struggled With Depression, So I Can't Always Be The "Happy" Mom," 8 July 2019 The husky sea cucumbers were tempting, but the young survivalists had no idea how to turn them into food. Susan Shain, The Atlantic, "When Your Final Exam Is Surviving the Wilderness," 5 June 2019 The book tells the unforgettable true story of Westover’s life growing up in rural Idaho as a daughter of survivalists, who prepared for the end of the world and shunned official entities like the government, hospitals, and schools. Vox Staff, Vox, "The most thought-provoking books the Vox staff read in 2018," 21 Dec. 2018 The movie tells the story of amateur survivalist Christopher McCandless (Hirsch), who makes a series of poor decisions. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "The 18 Best True Story Movies," 21 May 2018

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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Statistics for survivalist

Last Updated

19 Oct 2019

Time Traveler for survivalist

The first known use of survivalist was in 1970

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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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something of little or no value

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