Meaning of ENVIRONMENT in English


1. the natural world that people, animals, and plants live in

2. relating to the environment

3. protecting the environment

4. people who are concerned about the environment

5. damage to the environment


see also





1. the natural world that people, animals, and plants live in

▷ the environment /ðə ɪnˈvaɪ ə rənmənt/ [singular noun]

the air, water, and land where people, animals, and plants live, and the way all these things depend on each other so that life can continue :

▪ Many modern farming methods are highly damaging to the environment.

▪ Young people between 18 and 30 tend to be much more concerned about the environment than the older generation.

▪ Ask your local MP what he or she intends to do to help protect the environment.

▷ ecosystem /ˈiːkəʊˌsɪstɪm, ˈiːkəʊˌsɪstəm/ [countable noun]

the animals, plants etc that exist in a particular area or type of area and the way they all depend on each other in order to live, considered as a single separate part of the environment :

▪ The bay has a very complex and delicate ecosystem.

▪ The rainforest is a self-supporting ecosystem.

a marine/forest/riverbank etc ecosystem

▪ Many species of burrowing insects are essential for maintaining a healthy soil ecosystem.

▷ ecology /ɪˈkɒlədʒiǁɪˈkɑː-/ [uncountable noun]

the way in which plants, animals, and the natural features of a place affect and depend on each other, or the scientific study of this :

▪ Plans to build a new airfield could threaten the delicate ecology of the island.

▪ She is giving a lecture about the natural history and ecology of the sea shore.

▷ habitat /ˈhæbɪtæt, ˈhæbətæt/ [countable/uncountable noun]

the place and natural conditions that a plant, animal, etc lives or grows best in :

▪ Further building development would threaten valuable badger and red squirrel habitats.

▪ Suburban gardens can provide habitats for many forms of wildlife.

▪ Ancient habitats such as grasslands, bogs, and wetlands are rapidly disappearing.

▷ food chain /ˈfuːd tʃeɪn/ [singular noun]

the natural system in which plants, animals, insects etc feed on each other, for example when a particular bird feeds on a particular insect, which feeds on a particular plant etc :

▪ The oil spill has killed off billions of microscopic sea plants, thus threatening marine life further up the food chain.

▪ Pesticides destroy insects that are an important part of the food chain for several species of songbird.

2. relating to the environment

▷ environmental /ɪnˌvaɪ ə rənˈmentl◂/ []

▪ The explosion in the nuclear plant led to one of the most serious environmental catastrophes in history.

▪ We want to stress the environmental benefits of a cheap, efficient public transport system.

▪ environmental pollution

environmental group

a group of people whose aim is to protect the environment

▪ Environmental groups and residents have united to protest against plans for a new shopping mall.

environmentally [adverb]

▪ The group claims that flying is one of the most environmentally damaging forms of travel.

▪ Car manufacturers worldwide are working to develop environmentally cleaner vehicles.

▷ green /griːn/ [adjective usually before noun]

green methods, products, practices etc are intended not to cause damage to the environment. Green political groups are concerned with the protection of the environment :

▪ A government committee is considering a proposal for a green energy policy.

▪ More money needs to be invested in developing greener fuel sources.

▪ a conference attended by representatives of all the Green parties of Europe

▷ ecological /ˌiːkəˈlɒdʒɪk ə l◂ǁ-ˈlɑː-/ [adjective]

relating to the way plants, animals, people, and the natural creatures of a particular place affect and depend upon each other - used especially by scientists or groups that try to protect the environment :

▪ The government is to provide incentives for people to protect natural ecological assets such as forests.

▪ There are warnings that the building of the dam will upset the ecological balance of the river basin.

ecologically [adverb]

▪ ecologically sound methods of pest elimination

3. protecting the environment

▷ environmentally friendly /ɪnˌvaɪ ə rənˌment ə li ˈfrendli/ [adjective]

environmentally friendly products and methods do not damage the environment :

▪ Many shoppers will buy environmentally friendly washing powders even if they are slightly more expensive.

▪ Of course public transportation is more environmentally friendly than cars, but it needs to be efficient or people won’t use it.

▪ an environmentally friendly alternative to the aerosol spray

▷ eco- /ˈiːkəʊ/ [prefix]

involved with or relating to the protection of the environment - used before some adjectives and nouns :

▪ eco-friendly agriculture

▪ Activists want the government to invest in low-impact eco-tourist facilities.

▪ Officials see a role for sophisticated eco-technology to help eradicate pollution sweeping across the region.

▷ organic /ɔːʳˈgænɪk/ [adjective]

organic fruit, vegetables, grains etc are grown naturally without the use of chemicals that can harm the insects, birds, bacteria etc that depend on them to live. Organic meat, eggs etc come from animals or birds that are fed on natural food and contain no harmful artificial chemicals :

▪ Worried by repeated food scares, more and more people are buying organic products.

▪ For this recipe, use a free-range, organic chicken.

organic farming

the production of organic vegetables, meat etc

▪ Several farmers in the county have moved to organic farming recently.

▷ renewable /rɪˈnjuːəb ə lǁrɪˈnuː-/ [adjective]

renewable forms of energy, fuel, materials etc can be replaced naturally, so that they are never completely used up :

▪ The ‘green’ housing community uses renewable energy sources such as solar power.

▪ The problem with fossil fuels is that they are not renewable.

▷ sustainable /səˈsteɪnəb ə l// [adjective]

farming methods, methods of managing forests, hunting practices etc that are sustainable do not use up more land or trees or kill more animals than can be replaced, and therefore do not damage the environment :

▪ All wood used in our furniture comes with a certificate saying it comes from sustainable forests.

▪ Traditional agricultural methods employed by the local people are highly sustainable.

sustainability /səˌsteɪnəˈbɪlɪti, səˌsteɪnəˈbɪləti/ [uncountable noun]

▪ The bill is an EU attempt to ensure the sustainability of cod fishing groups in the North Sea.

▷ recycling /ˌriːˈsaɪklɪŋ/ [uncountable noun]

when waste made of materials such as paper, metal, glass, and plastic is not thrown away, but is put through a special process so that it can be used again :

▪ School students collected tons of drinks cans and bottles for recycling.

▪ The recycling program involves every household in the neighborhood.

recycled [adjective]

▪ recycled paper/glass/plastic

recycle []

▪ We aim to recycle at least 50% of household waste by 2005.

▪ Can computers be recycled?

recyclable [adjective]

able to be recycled :

▪ Some plastics aren’t recyclable, though many are.

▪ recyclable packaging

▷ conservation /ˌkɒnsəʳˈveɪʃ ə nǁˌkɑːn-/ [uncountable noun]

the practice of protecting animals, plants, forests etc, for example by officially not allowing building on the areas where they live or by not allowing them to be hunted :

▪ The group is mainly concerned with bird conservation in coastal areas.

conservation of

▪ the conservation of several species of dolphin

conservation area

a place where plants, wild animals etc are officially protected

▪ The flower now exists only in a small conservation area in Essex.

4. people who are concerned about the environment

▷ environmental activist/group /ɪnˌvaɪ ə rənmentl ˈæktə̇və̇st, ˈgruːp/ [countable noun]

a person or group who works to protect the environment, especially by trying to influence the government and large companies :

▪ Three environmental activists came to speak at the conference.

▷ eco-warrior /ˈiːkəʊˌ ˈwɒriəǁˌwɔː-/ [countable noun] informal

someone who does extreme and often illegal things in order to protest against governments, companies etc who damage the environment :

▪ One of the young eco-warriors had to be pulled from a tree by police.

5. damage to the environment

▷ pollution /pəˈluːʃ ə n/ [uncountable noun]

harmful chemicals, gases, or waste materials from factories, houses etc that enter the air, water, or land and kill or damage the things that live or grow there :

▪ Pollution levels in the area shot up as soon as the factory started operating.

▪ What pollution controls will the state authorities put in place?

air/marine/land etc pollution

▪ She says that transporting goods by rail instead of road would cut air pollution dramatically.

pollutant [countable noun]

a chemical, gas etc that harms the environment :

▪ carbon monoxide and other pollutants in traffic fumes

▷ global warming /ˌgləʊb ə l ˈwɔːʳmɪŋ/ [uncountable noun]

a general increase in the temperature of the world caused by harmful chemicals and gases from cars, factories etc entering the air :

▪ Scientists estimate that global warming could cause a six degree rise in temperatures by 2100.

▪ One of the most devastating consequences of global warming could be the melting of the polar ice caps.

▷ greenhouse gases /ˈgriːnhaʊs ˌgæsə̇z/ [plural noun]

gases from cars, factories, machines etc that form a layer around the earth and keep the heat in. These are a cause of global warming :

▪ International controls are needed to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

▪ Western countries are overwhelmingly responsible for current levels of greenhouse gases.

▷ acid rain /ˌæsɪd ˈreɪn/ [uncountable noun]

rain that is harmful to trees and buildings because it contains pollution from factories, power stations etc :

▪ Typical symptoms of acid rain include deformed and dying trees, and trees with vastly reduced numbers of leaves.

▷ climate change /ˈklaɪmɪt tʃeɪndʒ, ˈklaɪmət tʃeɪndʒ/ [uncountable noun]

changes in the weather across large areas of the world caused by damage to the natural environment, for example increases in temperature, more storms, or more or less rain :

▪ People will have to get used to more flooding and droughts as climate change becomes a reality.

▪ an international conference on Climate Change

▷ hole in the ozone layer /ˌhəʊl ɪn ði ˈəʊzəʊn leɪəʳ/ [noun phrase]

a hole in the layer of natural gases around the earth that protects people, animals etc from damage from the sun. This is thought to be caused by harmful gases from cars, household products, factories etc entering the earth’s atmosphere :

▪ The increase in the incidence of skin cancer is directly due to the hole in the ozone layer.

▷ deforestation /diːˌfɒrɪˈsteɪʃ ə n, diːˌfɒrəˈsteɪʃ ə nǁ-ˌfɔː-,-ˌfɑː-/ [uncountable noun]

when too many trees are cut down in an area, so that the environment is badly damaged :

▪ Some parts of tropical America have seen over 70% deforestation.

▪ The land is severely eroded as a result of widespread deforestation and intensive farming.

▷ endangered species /ɪnˌdeɪndʒəʳd ˈspiːʃiːz/ [countable noun]

a type of animal, plant etc that might soon stop existing because of damage to the environment it lives in or because too many of them have been killed by humans :

▪ Environmentalists say that the area includes the habitats of at least 20 endangered species.

▪ Although the tiger is an endangered species, it is still hunted in some areas.

Longman Activator English vocab.      Английский словарь Longman активатор .