con·​sum·​er·​ism kən-ˈsü-mə-ˌri-zəm How to pronounce consumerism (audio)
: the theory that an increasing consumption of goods is economically desirable
also : a preoccupation with and an inclination toward the buying of consumer goods
… the contemporary marketplace is shaped solely by the craven needs of lowbrow consumerismThomas Byrne Edsall
: the promotion of the consumer's interests
consumerist noun or adjective
consumeristic adjective

Example Sentences

concerns about increasing consumerism among teenagers
Recent Examples on the Web The pandemic, while undoubtedly devastating and tragic, seemingly prompted soul-searching among many, and a demand for more than insatiable capitalism and consumerism could offer. Mike Weinberger, Rolling Stone, 23 Feb. 2023 As in the novel, love and death, consumerism and chemicals, a sense of home and a sense of horror are woven throughout. Josh Zajdman, Town & Country, 30 Dec. 2022 Libba Bray has written a biting satire of consumerism and girlboss feminism for the young-adult set. Jessica Gentile, Vulture, 21 Jan. 2022 The piece investigates American consumerism through fairy tale imagery and absurdist performances. Los Angeles Times, 15 Feb. 2023 Mujica also preached a return to simplicity, addressing the United Nations General Assembly in 2013 to promote the values of love and solidarity over consumerism and the creation of wealth. Quartz, 2 Feb. 2023 And Elvis Presley helped reveal that consumerism — despite its many drawbacks — has the potential to break down barriers that separate people. Michael T. Bertrand, CNN, 16 Jan. 2023 Businesses that lead the way and take the task of reimagining wasteful consumerism seriously will be in a position of resilience, posed to thrive, not just survive. Rolling Stone Culture Council, Rolling Stone, 11 Jan. 2023 Everyone can learn about the brain’s tricks and resist the seduction of false friends like social media and excessive consumerism. Jamie Ducharme, Time, 5 Jan. 2023 See More

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

Word History


see consume

First Known Use

1915, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of consumerism was in 1915

Dictionary Entries Near consumerism

Cite this Entry

“Consumerism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Mar. 2023.

Kids Definition


con·​sum·​er·​ism kən-ˈsü-mə-ˌriz-əm How to pronounce consumerism (audio)
: the promotion of the consumer's interests

More from Merriam-Webster on consumerism

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!

What Did You Just Call Me?

  • brown chihuahua sitting on the floor with squinting eyes looking at the camera
  • Before we went to her house, Hannah told us her aunt was a flibbertigibbet.
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?