American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- Malthus, Thomas Robert 1766-1834. British economist who wrote An Essay on the Principle of Population (1798), arguing that population tends to increase faster than food supply, with inevitably disastrous results, unless the increase in population is checked by moral restraints or by war, famine, and disease.
- n. A rare surname derived from the Middle English word for malthouse.
- n. Specifically, Thomas Malthus, English demographer and political economist, who proposed the view that population growth always exceeds the growth of the necessary food supply.
GNU Webster's 1913
- n. Thomas Robert Malthus, an English economist who argued that increases in population would outgrow increases in the means of subsistence (1766-1834).
- n. an English economist who argued that increases in population would outgrow increases in the means of subsistence (1766-1834)
“Malthus is one example, and so are all those who predicted people would die if they traveled faster than a hundred miles an hour.”
“And our current interest in Malthus may, too, prove short-lived if a new green revolution, for example, sweeps Africa.”
“Thoroughly immersed in the Malthusian controversy, for example, Hazlitt had published A Reply to the Essay on Population as early as 1807, and the essay on Malthus is a distillation of Hazlitt’s earlier criticisms.”
“In the space of two hours, assisted only by a young officer who took notes in shorthand, Malthus conducted a dozen interviews.”
“Fortunately fingers crossed, neither his predictions nor those of many before him, such as Malthus, have materialized, since technology has always seemed to have come to the rescue.”
“To arrive at the ideas at the core of On the Origin of Species, Darwin depended on the theories of others, such as Malthus, Lyell, and Wallace.”
“Some of the clearest-headed and blackest-hearted of them, such as Malthus, saw where things were going, and boldly based their Manchester city on pessimism instead of optimism.”
“In the time of Malthus in the eighteenth century the main concern was with the fecundity of poor people.”
“Two hundred years ago, the English economist Thomas Malthus reasoned that food production could never keep up with population growth.”
“The question is -- as it has been since the days of Malthus -- will the technology come quickly enough to avert crisis or will the world go through major dislocation while waiting on that technology.”
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