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[en-vahy-ruh n-muh nt, -vahy-ern-] /ɛnˈvaɪ rən mənt, -ˈvaɪ ərn-/
the aggregate of surrounding things, conditions, or influences; surroundings; milieu.
Ecology. the air, water, minerals, organisms, and all other external factors surrounding and affecting a given organism at any time.
the social and cultural forces that shape the life of a person or a population.
Computers. the hardware or software configuration, or the mode of operation, of a computer system:
In a time-sharing environment, transactions are processed as they occur.
an indoor or outdoor setting that is characterized by the presence of environmental art that is itself designed to be site-specific.
Origin of environment
1595-1605; environ + -ment
Related forms
environmental, adjective
environmentally, adverb
interenvironmental, adjective
nonenvironmental, adjective
nonenvironmentally, adverb
preenvironmental, adjective
proenvironmental, adjective
Can be confused
biosphere, ecology, ecosystem, environment, habitat.
1. locale, environs. Environment, milieu, ambiance, setting, surroundings all refer to what makes up the atmosphere or background against which someone or something is seen. Environment may refer either to actual physical surroundings or to social or cultural background factors: an environment of crime and grinding poverty. Milieu, encountered most often in literary writing, refers to intangible aspects of the environment: an exhilarating milieu of artistic ferment and innovation. Ambiance applies to the atmosphere of the surroundings, their mood or tone: an ambiance of ease and elegance. Setting suggests a background that sets something off: a perfect setting for the emerald. Surroundings alludes specifically to the physical aspects of the environment: awoke in strange surroundings; blend in with her surroundings. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for environmentally
  • Easy tips for how to use more environmentally friendly fertilizers, harvest rainwater, and keep up with your composting.
  • The challenge remains to find ever more efficient and less environmentally harmful ways to feed the world.
  • While the process may control locusts, it also introduces large amounts of environmentally harmful pesticides.
  • Others are being farmed in ways that are not environmentally friendly.
  • Several alternatives are more environmentally friendly and safer for your family.
  • Made of environmentally friendly hemp and cotton that has been treated for water resistance.
  • environmentally friendly, recycled materials are often of better quality than new materials, and use less energy.
  • Find an amazing beach retreat with this list of the top destinations for environmentally conscious travelers.
  • If you've decided upon shingles as opposed to tiles or metal, choose the environmentally-friendly option that suits your climate.
  • But extracting the resource from this unique geological formation is costly-both economically, and environmentally.
British Dictionary definitions for environmentally


external conditions or surroundings, esp those in which people live or work
(ecology) the external surroundings in which a plant or animal lives, which tend to influence its development and behaviour
the state of being environed; encirclement
(computing) an operating system, program, or integrated suite of programs that provides all the facilities necessary for a particular application: a word-processing environment
Derived Forms
environmental, adjective
environmentally, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for environmentally



c.1600, "state of being environed" (see environ + -ment); sense of "nature, conditions in which a person or thing lives" first recorded 1827 (used by Carlyle to render German Umgebung); specialized ecology sense first recorded 1956.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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environmentally in Medicine

environment en·vi·ron·ment (ěn-vī'rən-mənt, -vī'ərn-)
The totality of circumstances surrounding an organism or group of organisms, especially the combination of external physical conditions that affect and influence the growth, development, and survival of organisms.

en·vi'ron·men'tal (-měn'tl) adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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environmentally in Science
All of the biotic and abiotic factors that act on an organism, population, or ecological community and influence its survival and development. Biotic factors include the organisms themselves, their food, and their interactions. Abiotic factors include such items as sunlight, soil, air, water, climate, and pollution. Organisms respond to changes in their environment by evolutionary adaptations in form and behavior.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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