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.’
    • ‘Consumerism and materialism won't fill the spiritual emptiness so many in an affluent society experience.’
    • ‘It also promotes vanity and materialism as a value.’
    • ‘In fact, he argued that the modem worship of technology and materialism undermined these values.’
    • ‘Perceptions now abound of the West being held in the grip of materialism and spiritual values being sidelined.’
    • ‘It could aid in neutralizing the insidious and pernicious tendencies towards materialism, consumerism and a general preoccupation with the present and the secular.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Are there any others out there ready to give up the creature comforts of materialism and strike back for the working class?’
    • ‘We are losing the battle because we live in a culture that nurtures us on materialism and promotes greed as a virtue.’
    • ‘Because of the emphasis on materialism and individualism, businesses concentrated on ‘shareholder value’ rather than customers or employees.’
    • ‘What happens to the quality of our lives when we value materialism?’
    • ‘It is the law itself which encodes the values of individualism and 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.’
    • ‘Just about any religion or spiritual movement will tell you that physical materialism is not the ultimate solution.’
    • ‘As an attitude, romanticism can be described as a tendency to favour the spiritual and oppose materialism.’
    • ‘Consumerist creature comfort materialism using non-renewable resources is a short-cut to ruin.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This story teaches important lessons about materialism and valuing family relationships.’
    • ‘People are far more important than materialism.’
    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 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?’
    • ‘This materialism was of a mechanical kind - with matter interacting like parts in a giant clockwork mechanism.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 2.1 The theory or belief that consciousness and will are wholly due to material agency.
      • ‘In respect to his materialism and determinism Collins was clearly influenced more by Hobbes and Bayle than he was by Locke.’
      • ‘The second abandons hope for reductionist exploitation of behaviorist ideas on behalf of materialism.’
      • ‘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.’

Pronunciation

materialism

/məˈtɪərɪəlɪz(ə)m/