Commercialism, in its original meaning, is the practices, methods, aims, and spirit of commerce or business. Today, however, it primarily refers to the tendency within open-market capitalism to turn everything into objects, images, and services sold for the purpose of generating profit.[1] There is also a tendency for intangible things such as happiness, beauty, or health to be given a monetary value (monetization) and to be spoken of as commodities.

Commercialism can also refer to the domination of things by business/corporate interests, or the exploitation of intangible things for private gain.

Commercialism is often closely associated with the corporate world and advertising, and often takes advantage of advancements in technology.

The related term "commercialised" is often used in a disparaging fashion, implying that someone or something has been despoiled by commercial or monetary interests. The holiday, Christmas, is a noteworthy example of this concern, with denunciations of the occasion's commercialisation dating as far back as 1850.[citation needed]

In basic economic terms, commercialism is when both the manufacturing and consumption are geared towards personal usage.

See also


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  • commercialism — com‧mer‧cial‧is‧m [kəˈmɜːʆlɪzm ǁ ɜːr ] noun [uncountable] disapproving when people are more concerned about making money from something than about its real qualities, value etc: • Many people dislike the commercialism that now surrounds… …   Financial and business terms

  • Commercialism — Com*mer cial*ism, n. The commercial spirit or method. C. Kingsley. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • commercialism — principles and practice of commerce, 1849, from COMMERCIAL (Cf. commercial) + ISM (Cf. ism) …   Etymology dictionary

  • commercialism — ► NOUN ▪ emphasis on the maximizing of profit …   English terms dictionary

  • commercialism — [kə mʉr′shəliz΄əm] n. the practices and spirit of commerce or business, often, specif., as showing an undue regard for profit commercialist n. commercialistic adj …   English World dictionary

  • commercialism — [[t]kəmɜ͟ː(r)ʃəlɪzəm[/t]] N UNCOUNT (disapproval) Commercialism is the practice of making a lot of money from things without caring about their quality. Koons has engrossed himself in a world of commercialism that most modern artists disdain …   English dictionary

  • commercialism — com|mer|cial|is|m [kəˈmə:ʃəlızəm US ə:r ] n [U] the principle or practice of being more concerned with making money from buying and selling goods than you are about their quality used to show disapproval ▪ the commercialism of modern culture …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • commercialism — noun (U) the principle or practice of being more concerned with making money from buying and selling goods than you are about their quality: the commercialism of modern culture …   Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • commercialism — noun Date: 1849 1. commercial spirit, institutions, or methods 2. excessive emphasis on profit • commercialist noun • commercialistic adjective …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • commercialism — commercialist, n. commercialistic, adj. /keuh merr sheuh liz euhm/, n. 1. the principles, practices, and spirit of commerce. 2. a commercial attitude in noncommercial affairs; inappropriate or excessive emphasis on profit, success, or immediate… …   Universalium

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