Why was clemency trending last week?


[muh-teer-ee-uh-liz-uh m] /məˈtɪər i əˌlɪz əm/
preoccupation with or emphasis on material objects, comforts, and considerations, with a disinterest in or rejection of spiritual, intellectual, or cultural values.
the philosophical theory that regards matter and its motions as constituting the universe, and all phenomena, including those of mind, as due to material agencies.
Origin of materialism
1740-50; < New Latin māteriālismus. See material, -ism
Related forms
antimaterialism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
Cite This Source
Examples from the web for materialism
  • Earlier in the week, he had fired a broadside against materialism.
  • He criticised too the emptiness of secular materialism.
  • After a year, its gritty materialism had gotten to me.
  • We have traded violence for materialism and self-gratification.
  • Mo simply left that part out, but the materialism implies that.
  • Some on the left claim the indulgent materialism is using up the economy's resources while serious social.
  • Modern medicine is a testament to the genius of methodological materialism and a mechanical approach to the human being.
  • It is involves the virtue of living within one's means and not putting materialism on the highest pedestal.
  • materialism is unproven and nothing more than an ideology unsupported by evidence.
  • Barbie and her endless series of lifestyle accessories have also come to stand for raw materialism.
British Dictionary definitions for materialism


interest in and desire for money, possessions, etc, rather than spiritual or ethical values
(philosophy) the monist doctrine that matter is the only reality and that the mind, the emotions, etc, are merely functions of it Compare idealism (sense 3), dualism (sense 2) See also identity theory
(ethics) the rejection of any religious or supernatural account of things
Derived Forms
materialist, noun, adjective
materialistic, adjective
materialistically, 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 materialism

1748, "philosophy that nothing exists except matter" (from French matérialisme); 1851 as "a way of life based entirely on consumer goods." From material + ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
materialism in Culture

materialism definition

In philosophy, the position that nothing exists except matter — things that can be measured or known through the senses. Materialists deny the existence of spirit, and they look for physical explanations for all phenomena. Thus, for example, they trace mental states to the brain or nervous system, rather than to the spirit or the soul. Marxism, because it sees human culture as the product of economic forces, is a materialist system of beliefs.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for materialism

Many English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for materialism

Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with materialism