The incisiveness of Sinclair Lewis' novel led Babbitt to be adopted as a generic term, as well as creation of the noun Babbittry.

It describes a person or practice that exemplifies middle class complacency: small-mindedness, conformity, snobbishness and materialism. A Babbitt believes in success above everything else, and measures the personal worth of others, as well as his own, by how much the person gets ahead. For a current example see About Schmidt.