civilization

noun civ·i·li·za·tion \ ˌsi-və-lə-ˈzā-shən \
Updated on: 8 Dec 2017

Definition of civilization

1 a : a relatively high level of cultural and technological development; specifically : the stage of cultural development at which writing and the keeping of written records is attained
b : the culture characteristic of a particular time or place
  • the impact of European civilization on the lands they colonized
2 : the process of becoming civilized
  • civilization is a slow process with many failures and setbacks
3 a : refinement of thought, manners, or taste
  • exhibiting a high level of civilization
b : a situation of urban comfort
  • Our African safari was quite interesting, but it was great to get back to civilization.

civilizational

play \-shnəl, -shə-nᵊl\ adjective

Examples of civilization in a Sentence

  1. the impact of technical advancements on civilization

  2. We are studying ancient Greek civilization.

  3. a book about life on the planet after wars have destroyed civilization

Recent Examples of civilization from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'civilization.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of civilization

see civil

CIVILIZATION Defined for English Language Learners

civilization

noun

Definition of civilization for English Language Learners

  • : the condition that exists when people have developed effective ways of organizing a society and care about art, science, etc.

  • : a particular well-organized and developed society

  • : all the societies of the world


CIVILIZATION Defined for Kids

civilization

noun civ·i·li·za·tion \ ˌsi-və-lə-ˈzā-shən \

Definition of civilization for Students

1 : an advanced stage (as in art, science, and government) in the development of society
2 : the way of life of a people
  • Greek civilization
3 : all the societies of the world
  • the end of civilization


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