Who doesn’t love the nice things that money can buy? But if all you care about is the stuff you have and the stuff you want to buy, you are materialistic.

Anyone who is obsessively focused on money, or cares deeply about owning luxury goods can be described as materialistic. Material is a synonym for matter: anything that exists. Originally, materialism was a philosophy that "only matter exists." But in 1851, American fiction writer Nathaniel Hawthorne tweaked the definition to mean “a way of life based entirely on consumer goods," a meaning that endures.

Definitions of materialistic

adj marked by materialism

mercenary, worldly-minded
secular, temporal, worldly
characteristic of or devoted to the temporal world as opposed to the spiritual world

adj conforming to the standards and conventions of the middle class

bourgeois, conservative
occupying a socioeconomic position intermediate between those of the lower classes and the wealthy

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.