chil·​i·​ad ˈki-lē-ˌad How to pronounce chiliad (audio)
: a group of 1000

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What is the difference between a chiliad and a millennium?

What's the difference between a chiliad and a millennium? Not much: both are a period of 1000 years. While millennium is more widely used, chiliad is actually older. Chiliad first appeared in the late 1500s and was originally used to mean "a group of 1000," as in "a chiliad of arrows"; millennium didn't make its way into written English until some decades later, in the early 1600s. Not surprisingly, both words trace back to roots that mean "thousand." Millennium comes from Latin mille, and chiliad is a descendant of Greek chilioi.

Examples of chiliad in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web For the verbally inclined, that’s a chiliad (one thousand) of twos squared. Adrienne Bernhard, Popular Mechanics, 27 Feb. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chiliad.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Late Latin chiliad-, chilias, from Greek, from chilioi thousand

First Known Use

1598, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of chiliad was in 1598


Dictionary Entries Near chiliad

Cite this Entry

“Chiliad.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

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