• synonyms


[ley-buh ns-roum, -buh nz-]
noun (often lowercase)
  1. additional territory considered by a nation, especially Nazi Germany, to be necessary for national survival or for the expansion of trade.
  2. any additional space needed in order to act, function, etc.
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Origin of Lebensraum

1900–05; < German: living space
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for lebensraum

Historical Examples

  • Lebensraum and Volkdeutsch were twin pillars of Nazi ideology.

    After the Rain

    Sam Vaknin

  • Hitler suggests a future foreign policy for Germany which would assure Lebensraum and domination of the European continent.

British Dictionary definitions for lebensraum


  1. territory claimed by a nation or state on the grounds that it is necessary for survival or growth
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Word Origin

German, literally: living space
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 lebensraum


"territory needed for a nation's or people's natural development," 1905, from German genitive of leben "life" (see life) + raum "space" (see room (n.)).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper