from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun The totality of the natural world, often excluding humans.
  • noun A subset of the natural world; an ecosystem.
  • noun The combination of external physical conditions that affect and influence the growth, development, behavior, and survival of organisms.
  • noun The complex of social and cultural conditions affecting the nature of an individual person or community.
  • noun The general set of conditions or circumstances.
  • noun The entire set of conditions under which one operates a computer, as it relates to the hardware, operating platform, or operating system.
  • noun An area of a computer's memory used by the operating system and some programs to store certain variables to which they need frequent access.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun The act of environing or surrounding, or the state of being environed.
  • noun That which environs; the aggregate of surrounding things or conditions.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun Act of environing; state of being environed.
  • noun That which environs or surrounds; surrounding conditions, influences, or forces, by which living forms are influenced and modified in their growth and development.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun The surroundings of, and influences on, a particular item of interest.
  • noun The natural world or ecosystem.
  • noun All the elements over which a designer has no control and that affect a system or its inputs and outputs.
  • noun A particular political or social setting, arena or condition.
  • noun computing The software and/or hardware existing on any particular computer system.
  • noun programming The environment of a function at a point during the execution of a program is the set of identifiers in the function's scope and their bindings at that point.
  • noun computing The set of variables and their values in a namespace that an operating system associates with a process.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the totality of surrounding conditions
  • noun the area in which something exists or lives


from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

As if environ + -ment; compare to French environnement.


Help support Wordnik (and make this page ad-free) by adopting the word environment.



Log in or sign up to get involved in the conversation. It's quick and easy.