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materialism Line breaks: ma¦teri¦al|ism
Pronunciation: /məˈtɪərɪəlɪz(ə)m/

Definition of materialism in English:


[mass noun]
1A tendency to consider material possessions and physical comfort as more important than spiritual values: they hated the sinful materialism of the wicked city
More example sentences
  • Perceptions now abound of the West being held in the grip of materialism and spiritual values being sidelined.
  • This story teaches important lessons about materialism and valuing family relationships.
  • It also promotes vanity and materialism as a value.
2 Philosophy The theory or belief that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications.
Example sentences
  • And, if we don't really know what matter is, then materialism is in trouble.
  • The first is ontological materialism, which says that nothing exists except the material world.
  • This materialism was of a mechanical kind - with matter interacting like parts in a giant clockwork mechanism.
2.1The theory or belief that consciousness and will are wholly due to material agency. See also dialectical materialism.
Example sentences
  • In respect to his materialism and determinism Collins was clearly influenced more by Hobbes and Bayle than he was by Locke.
  • As Marx pointed out, idealism often was better than materialism at capturing agency.
  • Hobbes' view shows progress for reconciling materialism, determinism and free will, but it is unsatisfactory.



Pronunciation: /məˈtɪərɪəlɪst/
noun& adjective
Example sentences
  • ‘Because we're such materialists, and constantly want more stuff, we don't really look at the things that we've got,’ he suggests.
  • Yet the materialists merely accept as a matter of blind faith that an irrational universe can produce a mind capable of producing a trustworthy rationality.
  • Most materialists, particularly those in a liberal democracy, have no problem with this approach when they are able to draw the distinctions.

Definition of materialism in:

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