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.

1740–50; < Neo-Latin māteriālismus. See material, -ism

antimaterialism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
materialism (məˈtɪərɪəˌlɪzəm)
1.  interest in and desire for money, possessions, etc, rather than spiritual or ethical values
2.  philosophy idealism Compare dualism See also identity theory the monist doctrine that matter is the only reality and that the mind, the emotions, etc, are merely functions of it
3.  ethics the rejection of any religious or supernatural account of things
n, —adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1748, philosophy that nothing exists except matter (from Fr.); 1851 (in Hawthorne) as a way of life based entirely on consumer goods. From material + ism.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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.
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Example sentences
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.
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