[en-vahy-ruh n-muh nt, -vahy-ern-]
- the aggregate of surrounding things, conditions, or influences; surroundings; milieu.
- Ecology. the air, water, minerals, organisms, and all other external factors surrounding and affecting a given organism at any time.
- the social and cultural forces that shape the life of a person or a population.
- Computers. the hardware or software configuration, or the mode of operation, of a computer system: In a time-sharing environment, transactions are processed as they occur.
- an indoor or outdoor setting that is characterized by the presence of environmental art that is itself designed to be site-specific.
Origin of environment
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
1. locale, environs. Environment, milieu, ambiance, setting, surroundings all refer to what makes up the atmosphere or background against which someone or something is seen. Environment may refer either to actual physical surroundings or to social or cultural background factors: an environment of crime and grinding poverty. Milieu, encountered most often in literary writing, refers to intangible aspects of the environment: an exhilarating milieu of artistic ferment and innovation. Ambiance applies to the atmosphere of the surroundings, their mood or tone: an ambiance of ease and elegance. Setting suggests a background that sets something off: a perfect setting for the emerald. Surroundings alludes specifically to the physical aspects of the environment: awoke in strange surroundings; blend in with her surroundings.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for environment
Genetics alone does not an eating disorder make, generally speaking, and Bulik points out that environment still plays a role.How Skinny Is Too Skinny? Israel Bans ‘Underweight’ Models
January 8, 2015
And in an environment where time is money, hooking up with an escort just might be the sensible thing to do.Career-Minded Women Turn to Male Escorts For No-Strings Fun and (Maybe) Sex
January 3, 2015
Are you more pessimistic about the overall public education crisis given this current environment?Dr. Howard Fuller's Injustice Education
December 21, 2014
For whatever reason, I grew up watching and loving horror movies—perhaps as a reaction to the environment I was growing up in.
So that time, and growing up in that environment, connected me to those films.
They are as animals grown in an environment that demands no struggle of them.
Certain faculties develop in response to the pressure of environment.
He will not so long correspond with an environment even so unexacting as this.
They are victims of their elders' folly, of our carelessness as to their environment.The Call of the Twentieth Century
David Starr Jordan
A kind of net for effecting an involuntary change of environment.The Devil's Dictionary
- external conditions or surroundings, esp those in which people live or work
- ecology the external surroundings in which a plant or animal lives, which tend to influence its development and behaviour
- the state of being environed; encirclement
- computing an operating system, program, or integrated suite of programs that provides all the facilities necessary for a particular applicationa word-processing environment
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
Word Origin and History for environment
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
- The totality of circumstances surrounding an organism or group of organisms, especially the combination of external physical conditions that affect and influence the growth, development, and survival of organisms.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
- All of the biotic and abiotic factors that act on an organism, population, or ecological community and influence its survival and development. Biotic factors include the organisms themselves, their food, and their interactions. Abiotic factors include such items as sunlight, soil, air, water, climate, and pollution. Organisms respond to changes in their environment by evolutionary adaptations in form and behavior.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.