conspicuous consumption

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

Coined by Thorstein Veblen (1857-1929) in 1899.

Noun[edit]

conspicuous consumption (uncountable)

  1. A public display of acquisition of possessions with the intention of gaining social prestige; excessive consumerism in order to flaunt one's purchasing power.
    • 1907, Alvin S. Johnson, "Influences Affecting the Development of Thrift," Political Science Quarterly, vol. 22, no. 2 (June), page 238:
      "Conspicuous consumption" is a proof of economic success.
    • 1952, Paul Mackendrick, "Education for the Art of Living," The Journal of Higher Education, vol. 23, no. 8 (Nov.), page 423:
      Professional humanists . . . resent Veblen's saying that knowing an ancient language is conspicuous consumption and conspicuous waste, like growing your fingernails long and painting them, or keeping a Pekingese.
    • 2004, Ed Hopkins and Tatiana Kornienko, "Running to Keep in the Same Place: Consumer Choice as a Game of Status," The American Economic Review, vol. 94, no. 4 (Sep.), page 1086:
      As a society becomes richer, those whose incomes do not grow spend more on conspicuous consumption in an attempt to keep up.

See also[edit]

Translations[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  • "conspicuous consumption" in the Dictionary.com Unabridged, v1.0.1, Lexico Publishing roup, 2006.
  • "conspicuous consumption in the Wordsmyth Dictionary-Thesaurus(Wordsmyth, 2002)
  • conspicuous_consumption” in Microsoft's Encarta World English Dictionary, North American Edition (2007)
  • "conspicuous consumption" in Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary (Cambridge University Press, 2007)
  • Random House Webster's Unabridged Electronic Dictionary (1987-1996)