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environ (v.)
late 14c. (implied in environing), "to surround, encircle, encompass," from Old French environer "to surround, enclose, encircle," from environ "round about," from en- "in" (see en- (1)) + viron "a circle, circuit," also used as an adverb, from virer "to turn" (see veer). Related: Environed.
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environs (n.)
"outskirts," 1660s, from French environs, plural of Old French environ "compass, circuit," from environ (adv.) "around, round about" (see environ).
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environment (n.)

c. 1600, "state of being environed" (see environ (v.) + -ment); sense of "the aggregate of the conditions in which a person or thing lives" is by 1827 (used by Carlyle to render German Umgebung); specialized ecology sense first recorded 1956.

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environmentalism (n.)
1923, as a psychological theory (in the nature vs. nurture debate), from environmental + -ism. The ecological sense is from 1972. Related: Environmentalist (n.), 1916 in the psychological sense, 1970 in the ecological sense.
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environmental (adj.)
1887, "environing, surrounding," from environment + -al (1). Ecological sense by 1967. Related: Environmentally (1884).
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