Definition of materialism in English:

materialism

noun

mass noun
  • 1A tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values.

    ‘they hated the sinful materialism of the wicked city’
    • ‘The struggle to hold on to traditional values in the face of the new South African politics and western materialism forms an important theme in his writings.’
    • ‘Are there any others out there ready to give up the creature comforts of materialism and strike back for the working class?’
    • ‘Just about any religion or spiritual movement will tell you that physical materialism is not the ultimate solution.’
    • ‘Perceptions now abound of the West being held in the grip of materialism and spiritual values being sidelined.’
    • ‘His works present a critique of Victorian materialism yet also convey spiritual consolation, faith in humanity and in the power and goodness of great men.’
    • ‘Consumerist creature comfort materialism using non-renewable resources is a short-cut to ruin.’
    • ‘What happens to the quality of our lives when we value materialism?’
    • ‘We are losing the battle because we live in a culture that nurtures us on materialism and promotes greed as a virtue.’
    • ‘This story teaches important lessons about materialism and valuing family relationships.’
    • ‘His exalted view of the state sits uneasily with the prosaic materialism and spiritual void of our own culture, especially when our society tends to identify the state with politics.’
    • ‘Because of the emphasis on materialism and individualism, businesses concentrated on ‘shareholder value’ rather than customers or employees.’
    • ‘In fact, he argued that the modem worship of technology and materialism undermined these values.’
    • ‘It is the law itself which encodes the values of individualism and materialism.’
    • ‘Consumerism and materialism won't fill the spiritual emptiness so many in an affluent society experience.’
    • ‘It could aid in neutralizing the insidious and pernicious tendencies towards materialism, consumerism and a general preoccupation with the present and the secular.’
    • ‘It also promotes vanity and materialism as a value.’
    • ‘As an attitude, romanticism can be described as a tendency to favour the spiritual and oppose materialism.’
    • ‘People are far more important than materialism.’
    • ‘The truth is that all of the varieties of skepticism, materialism, and spiritual fervor are found in the range of tribal societies.’
    • ‘It will measure the extent to which young people identify with democratic values, materialism, solidarity, and confidence in their own and the country's prospects.’
    greed, greediness, covetousness, cupidity, possessiveness, grasping, graspingness, grabbing, avarice, avidity, predatoriness, rapaciousness, rapacity, voracity, voraciousness, mercenariness
    View synonyms
  • 2Philosophy
    The theory or belief that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications.

    • ‘The first is ontological materialism, which says that nothing exists except the material world.’
    • ‘And, if we don't really know what matter is, then materialism is in trouble.’
    • ‘This materialism was of a mechanical kind - with matter interacting like parts in a giant clockwork mechanism.’
    • ‘The field is dominated by schools of materialism that describe mental phenomena as types or side products of physical phenomena.’
    • ‘In light of the complexity of the universe, which of the overarching theories of materialism, humanism, or theism provides the best explanation?’
    1. 2.1 The theory or belief that consciousness and will are wholly due to material agency.
      • ‘Hobbes' view shows progress for reconciling materialism, determinism and free will, but it is unsatisfactory.’
      • ‘As Marx pointed out, idealism often was better than materialism at capturing agency.’
      • ‘The second abandons hope for reductionist exploitation of behaviorist ideas on behalf of materialism.’
      • ‘In respect to his materialism and determinism Collins was clearly influenced more by Hobbes and Bayle than he was by Locke.’

Pronunciation

materialism

/məˈtɪərɪəlɪz(ə)m/