environment

noun
en·​vi·​ron·​ment | \ in-ˈvī-rə(n)-mənt How to pronounce environment (audio) , -ˈvī(-ə)r(n)- How to pronounce environment (audio) \

Definition of environment

1 : the circumstances, objects, or conditions by which one is surrounded
2a : the complex of physical, chemical, and biotic factors (such as climate, soil, and living things) that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine its form and survival
b : the aggregate of social and cultural conditions that influence the life of an individual or community
3 : the position or characteristic position of a linguistic element in a sequence
4 : a computer interface from which various tasks can be performed a programming environment

Other Words from environment

environmental \ in-​ˌvī-​rə(n)-​ˈmen-​tᵊl How to pronounce environment (audio) , -​ˌvī(-​ə)r(n)-​ \ adjective
environmentally \ in-​ˌvī-​rə(n)-​ˈmen-​tᵊl-​ē How to pronounce environment (audio) , -​ˌvī(-​ə)r(n)-​ \ adverb

Choose the Right Synonym for environment

background, setting, environment, milieu, mise-en-scène mean the place, time, and circumstances in which something occurs. background often refers to the circumstances or events that precede a phenomenon or development. the shocking decision was part of the background of the riots setting suggests looking at real-life situations in literary or dramatic terms. a militant reformer who was born into an unlikely social setting environment applies to all the external factors that have a formative influence on one's physical, mental, or moral development. the kind of environment that produces juvenile delinquents milieu applies especially to the physical and social surroundings of a person or group of persons. an intellectual milieu conducive to artistic experimentation mise-en-scène strongly suggests the use of properties to achieve a particular atmosphere or theatrical effect. a gothic thriller with a carefully crafted mise-en-scène

Meanings of Environment

Descending from the Middle French preposition environ “around,” environment , in its most basic meaning, is “that which surrounds.” When preceded by the and unmodified, it usually refers to the natural world (“please don’t litter if you care about the environment”). In a less physical, more extended sense, it may signify the circumstances and conditions that make up everyday life (“He grew up in a loving environment.”) The word may also be applied in highly specialized ways, denoting, for example, “the position of a linguistic element” (“how g gets pronounced in Italian depends upon its phonetic environment”) or “a computer interface from which various tasks can be performed” (“the app works in varied environments").

Examples of environment in a Sentence

He grew up in a loving environment. We're trying to create a better business environment. These animals were raised in a controlled environment. Many plants are unable to survive in such a harsh environment. Heredity and environment are both important. Pollution is bad for the environment. See More
Recent Examples on the Web But, even as his environment changed, his melancholy remained. Raffi Khatchadourian, The New Yorker, 9 May 2022 Your outer environment is often a reflection of your internal, and Aram was a mess. Alamin Yohannes, EW.com, 7 May 2022 But they were raised in large flight pens designed to mimic their natural environment as closely as possible to prepare them for life in the wild. Zoe Sottile, CNN, 7 May 2022 Fundy National Park in New Brunswick shelters more than 260 bird species among its marine coastal environment. Sandra Macgregor, Forbes, 5 May 2022 The result, according to one 2020 study: 1.3 billion metric tons more plastic dumped into our environment by 2040. Time, 5 May 2022 After all, octopuses adapt to their environment by changing the color and texture of their skin. Washington Post, 4 May 2022 Believe it or not, your living environment has a direct impact on your overall wellbeing. Monique Valeris, Good Housekeeping, 2 May 2022 Reading about the impact of climate issues on our environment is a great way to stay informed and learn new ways to take better care of our planet. Ashlee Conour, Chicago Tribune, 2 May 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of environment

1827, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for environment

Time Traveler

The first known use of environment was in 1827

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Dictionary Entries Near environment

environ

environment

environmentalism

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Statistics for environment

Last Updated

12 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Environment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/environment. Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for environment

environment

noun
en·​vi·​ron·​ment | \ in-ˈvī-rən-mənt How to pronounce environment (audio) , -ˈvī-ərn-mənt \

Kids Definition of environment

1 : a person's physical surroundings He lives in a comfortable rural environment.
2 : the surrounding conditions or forces (as soil, climate, and living things) that influence a plant's or animal's characteristics and ability to survive
3 : the social and cultural conditions that affect the life of a person or community a happy home environment

environment

noun
en·​vi·​ron·​ment | \ in-ˈvī-rən-mənt How to pronounce environment (audio) , -ˈvī(-ə)rn- How to pronounce environment (audio) \

Medical Definition of environment

1 : the complex of physical, chemical, and biotic factors (as climate, soil, and living things) that act upon an organism or an ecological community and ultimately determine its form and survival
2 : the aggregate of social and cultural conditions that influence the life of an individual or community

Other Words from environment

environmental \ -​ˌvī-​rən-​ˈment-​ᵊl, -​ˌvī(-​ə)rn-​ How to pronounce environment (audio) \ adjective
environmentally \ -​ᵊl-​ē How to pronounce environment (audio) \ adverb

More from Merriam-Webster on environment

Nglish: Translation of environment for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of environment for Arabic Speakers

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