Malthusian

[mal-thoo-zhuh n, -zee-uh n]
adjective
  1. of or relating to the theories of T. R. Malthus, which state that population tends to increase faster, at a geometrical ratio, than the means of subsistence, which increases at an arithmetical ratio, and that this will result in an inadequate supply of the goods supporting life unless war, famine, or disease reduces the population or the increase of population is checked.
noun
  1. a follower of Malthus.

Origin of Malthusian

First recorded in 1805–15; Malthus + -ian
Related formsMal·thu·sian·ism, nounan·ti-Mal·thu·si·an, adjective, nounan·ti-Mal·thu·si·an·ism, nounnon-Mal·thu·si·an, adjective, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for malthusianism

Malthusian

adjective
  1. of or relating to the theory of Malthus stating that increases in population tend to exceed increases in the means of subsistence and that therefore sexual restraint should be exercised
noun
  1. a supporter of this theory
Derived FormsMalthusianism, noun
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 malthusianism

Malthusian

n.

1812, from the teachings of English economist Thomas R. Malthus (1766-1835), especially with regard to population increase. As an adjective by 1818. Related: Malthusianism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

malthusianism in Culture

Malthusianism

[(mal-thooh-zhuh-niz-uhm, mal-thooh-zee-uh-niz-uhm)]

A pessimistic viewpoint on population and world resources, based on the doctrines of Thomas Malthus. Malthusianism holds that population tends to increase faster than the supply of food, thus preventing the steady progress of mankind. Malthus advocated premarital chastity, late marriage, and sexual abstinence as partial solutions.

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.