follow Dictionary.com

What is the X in X-mas?

environment

[en-vahy-ruh n-muh nt, -vahy-ern-] /ɛnˈvaɪ rən mənt, -ˈvaɪ ərn-/
noun
1.
the aggregate of surrounding things, conditions, or influences; surroundings; milieu.
2.
Ecology. the air, water, minerals, organisms, and all other external factors surrounding and affecting a given organism at any time.
3.
the social and cultural forces that shape the life of a person or a population.
4.
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.
5.
an indoor or outdoor setting that is characterized by the presence of environmental art that is itself designed to be site-specific.
Origin
1595-1605
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.
Synonyms
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
British Dictionary definitions for environment's

environment

/ɪnˈvaɪrənmənt/
noun
1.
external conditions or surroundings, esp those in which people live or work
2.
(ecology) the external surroundings in which a plant or animal lives, which tend to influence its development and behaviour
3.
the state of being environed; encirclement
4.
(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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for environment's

environment

n.

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
Cite This Source
environment's in Medicine

environment en·vi·ron·ment (ěn-vī'rən-mənt, -vī'ərn-)
n.
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.
Cite This Source
environment's in Science
environment
  (ěn-vī'rən-mənt)   
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.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for environment

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for environment

16
21
Scrabble Words With Friends

Nearby words for environment's