[kuh n-soo-muh-riz-uh m]
  1. a modern movement for the protection of the consumer against useless, inferior, or dangerous products, misleading advertising, unfair pricing, etc.
  2. the concept that an ever-expanding consumption of goods is advantageous to the economy.
  3. the fact or practice of an increasing consumption of goods: a critic of American consumerism.

Origin of consumerism

An Americanism dating back to 1940–45; consumer + -ism
Related formsan·ti·con·sum·er·ism, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for anti-consumerism


  1. protection of the interests of consumers
  2. advocacy of a high rate of consumption and spending as a basis for a sound economy
Derived Formsconsumerist, noun, adjective
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 anti-consumerism



1944, "protection of the consumer's interest," from consumer + -ism. Also, "encouraging consumption as an economic policy" (1960). Related: Consumerist (1965, n.; 1969, adj.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

anti-consumerism in Culture


A movement in the United States that seeks to protect consumers against shoddy or improperly labeled products. (See Ralph Nader.)

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.