The noun consumerism refers to the theory that spending money and consuming goods is good for the economy. Opponents of consumerism suggest simple living is a more sustainable lifestyle and better for the environment.

Consumerism comes from the verb consume, which is rooted in the Latin word consumere, meaning to use up or to waste. The noun consumerism also refers to a movement that promotes the interests of consumers — that is, people who purchase goods, use them, and then buy more — especially the protection of these consumers from things like fraud or price gouging.

Definitions of consumerism

n the theory that an increasing consumption of goods is economically beneficial

Type of:
economic theory
(economics) a theory of commercial activities (such as the production and consumption of goods)

n a movement advocating greater protection of the interests of consumers

Type of:
campaign, cause, crusade, drive, effort, movement
a series of actions advancing a principle or tending toward a particular end

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