Definitions for materialismməˈtɪər i əˌlɪz əm

This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word materialism

Random House Webster's College Dictionary

ma•te•ri•al•ismməˈtɪər i əˌlɪz əm(n.)

  1. preoccupation with or emphasis on material objects, comforts, and considerations, as opposed to spiritual or intellectual values.

    Category: Common Vocabulary

  2. the philosophical theory that regards matter as constituting the universe, and all phenomena, including those of mind, as due to material agencies.

    Category: Philosphy


Princeton's WordNet

  1. materialism, philistinism(noun)

    a desire for wealth and material possessions with little interest in ethical or spiritual matters

  2. materialism, physicalism(noun)

    (philosophy) the philosophical theory that matter is the only reality

Kernerman English Learner's Dictionary

  1. materialism(noun)əˈtɪər i əˌlɪz əm

    the belief that having money and property is more important than anything else


  1. materialism(Noun)

    Constant concern over material possessions and wealth; a great or excessive regard for worldly concerns.

  2. materialism(Noun)

    The philosophical belief that nothing exists beyond what is physical.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Materialism(noun)

    the doctrine of materialists; materialistic views and tenets

  2. Materialism(noun)

    the tendency to give undue importance to material interests; devotion to the material nature and its wants

  3. Materialism(noun)

    material substances in the aggregate; matter


  1. Materialism

    In philosophy, the theory of materialism holds that the only thing that exists is matter or energy; that all things are composed of material and all phenomena are the result of material interactions. In other words, matter is the only substance, and reality is identical with the actually occurring states of energy and matter. To many philosophers, 'materialism' is synonymous with 'physicalism'. However, materialists have historically held that everything is made of matter, but physics has shown that gravity, for example, is not made of matter in the traditional sense of "'an inert, senseless substance, in which extension, figure, and motion do actually subsist'… So it is tempting to use 'physicalism' to distance oneself from what seems a historically important but no longer scientifically relevant thesis of materialism, and related to this, to emphasize a connection to physics and the physical sciences." Therefore much of the generally philosophical discussion below on materialism may be relevant to physicalism. Also related to materialism are the ideas of methodological naturalism and metaphysical naturalism.

The Nuttall Encyclopedia

  1. Materialism

    the theory which, denying the independent existence of spirit, resolves everything within the sphere of being into matter, or into the operation and the effect of the operation of forces latent in it, or into the negative and positive interaction of mere material forces, to the exclusion of intelligent purpose and design.


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