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) \

Essential Meaning of environment

1 : the conditions that surround someone or something : the conditions and influences that affect the growth, health, progress, etc., of someone or something He grew up in a loving environment. an informal office environment See More ExamplesWe're trying to create a better business/learning environment. These animals were raised in a controlled environment. Many plants are unable to survive in such a harsh/hostile environment. Heredity and environment are both important.Hide
2 : the natural world Pollution is bad for the environment. protecting the (natural) environment

Full 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.
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Recent Examples on the Web But that's added to traffic congestion and potential strain on the surrounding environment. Hope Yen, USA TODAY, 18 Nov. 2021 Sally said the school is obligated to provide an education to any student in the district and for the sake of maintaining a safe school environment, school officials work with families on classroom separation requests during active investigations. Daniel I. Dorfman, chicagotribune.com, 16 Nov. 2021 Protein demand must be met in a sustainable way to avoid additional strain on the environment. Jeff Simmons, Fortune, 16 Nov. 2021 The Belo Monte Dam is a good example of just how much of an effect large dams have on the surrounding environment. Matt Reynolds, Wired, 16 Nov. 2021 Three of those seats – two leaning Republican and one leaning Democrat – would be considered toss-ups and could sway depending on the environment of the election. cleveland, 16 Nov. 2021 The sci-fi-looking place, which is managed by the Cosanti Foundation, is an active architectural laboratory studying how to minimize human impact on the environment. Stefanie Waldek, Travel + Leisure, 15 Nov. 2021 Because of that, other companies are focused on refining how the metals are mined, particularly in places where current methods are hard on the environment. David Douglas, NBC News, 13 Nov. 2021 Maintaining a safe, truthful environment is an uphill battle. Amanda Mull, The Atlantic, 12 Nov. 2021

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.

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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

20 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Environment.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/environment. Accessed 1 Dec. 2021.

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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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