a modern movement for the protection of the consumer against useless, inferior, or dangerous products, misleading advertising, unfair pricing, etc.
the concept that an ever-expanding consumption of goods is advantageous to the economy.
the fact or practice of an increasing consumption of goods: a critic of American consumerism.

1940–45, Americanism; consumer + -ism

anticonsumerism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
consumerism (kənˈsjuːməˌrɪzəm)
1.  protection of the interests of consumers
2.  advocacy of a high rate of consumption and spending as a basis for a sound economy
n, —adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1944, "protection of the consumer's interest," from consumer + -ism. Also, "encouraging consumption as an economic policy" (1960). Related: Consumerist (1965, n.; 1969, adj.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

consumerism definition

A movement in the United States that seeks to protect consumers against shoddy or improperly labeled products. (See Ralph Nader.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences
They believe that buying without due consciousness of what is being bought
  amounts to a sort of neocolonial consumerism.
What strikes you first is the carrot: giddy financial growth fueling never
  ending construction and consumerism.
Sure there were cavernous showrooms, hordes of gadget-lusting revelers and
  rampant consumerism.
Consumerism is installed in communities living on subsistence and boredom
  abounds in affluent societies.
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