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conspicuous consumption

public enjoyment of possessions that are known to be costly so that one's ability to pay for such things is flaunted.
Origin of conspicuous consumption
used by Thorstein Veblen in The Theory of the Leisure Class (1899) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for conspicuous consumption
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The need of vicarious leisure, or conspicuous consumption of service, is a dominant incentive to the keeping of servants.

  • conspicuous consumption of valuable goods is a means of reputability to the gentleman of leisure.

  • High-bred manners and ways of living are items of conformity to the norm of conspicuous leisure and conspicuous consumption.

  • This isn't the old-time expanding economy based on obsolescence and conspicuous consumption.

    This Crowded Earth Robert Bloch
British Dictionary definitions for conspicuous consumption

conspicuous consumption

spending in a lavish or ostentatious way, esp to impress others with one's wealth
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
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conspicuous consumption in Culture

conspicuous consumption definition

Buying unnecessary and expensive products and services as a way to show off wealth. The term was coined by U.S. economist Thorstein Veblen in The Theory of the Leisure Class.

The 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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