View synonyms for materialism


[ muh-teer-ee-uh-liz-uhm ]


  1. preoccupation with or emphasis on material objects, comforts, and considerations, with a disinterest in or rejection of spiritual, intellectual, or cultural values.
  2. the philosophical theory that regards matter and its motions as constituting the universe, and all phenomena, including those of mind, as due to material agencies.


/ məˈtɪərɪəˌlɪzəm /


  1. interest in and desire for money, possessions, etc, rather than spiritual or ethical values
  2. philosophy the monist doctrine that matter is the only reality and that the mind, the emotions, etc, are merely functions of it Compare idealism dualism See also identity theory
  3. ethics the rejection of any religious or supernatural account of things


  1. In philosophy , the position that nothing exists except matter — things that can be measured or known through the senses. Materialists deny the existence of spirit, and they look for physical explanations for all phenomena. Thus, for example, they trace mental states to the brain or nervous system , rather than to the spirit or the soul. Marxism , because it sees human culture as the product of economic forces, is a materialist system of beliefs.

Discover More

Derived Forms

  • maˌterialˈistic, adjective
  • maˈterialist, nounadjective
  • maˌterialˈistically, adverb

Discover More

Other Words From

  • anti·ma·teri·al·ism noun

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of materialism1

From the New Latin word māteriālismus, dating back to 1740–50. See material, -ism

Discover More

Example Sentences

He also co-hosts the Materialism Podcast, a show about materials science.

It’s a rebellion against the mainstream of materialism, of hypocrisy, of individualism, of the status quo.

They supplement this with messages from their peers, teachers, or from the culture around them, which, by and large, increasingly promotes competition and materialism.

From Time

Both followed wars; people were tired of idealism and self-sacrifice and were determined to enjoy a self- indulgent materialism.

It just feeds the fire of materialism, and feeds the fire of make up, and false attire, and whatnot.

You mentioned “materialism” earlier, and one of the themes of both The Hunger Games and Divergent is class warfare.

A Youtube video of some jet-setting Buddhist monks has Thailand scrambling to crack down on materialism in the monastic ranks.

It seems the world of law and idol breaking needed something of the Greeks' materialism, too.

Materialism, it is objected, makes of man a mere machine, which is considered very debasing to the human race.

So atheism, and the disbelief of the existence of the soul after death, characterized that materialism.

It was partly too to encourage "a religious and poetic sentiment" in Italy, and combat the dominant scepticism and materialism.

In Euripides, we see the first fatal symptoms of the skepticism and materialism which finally overtook the Greek stage.

Hence she welcomed eagerly everything which seemed to show that materialism was the true philosophy of life.


Word of the Day


[ak-suh-lot-l ]

Meaning and examples

Start each day with the Word of the Day in your inbox!

By clicking "Sign Up", you are accepting Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies.




material implicationmaterialist