civilization

noun
civ·​i·​li·​za·​tion | \ ˌsi-və-lə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce civilization (audio) \

Essential Meaning of civilization

1 : the condition that exists when people have developed effective ways of organizing a society and care about art, science, etc. modern civilization the impact of technical advancements on civilization
2 : a particular well-organized and developed society ancient/modern civilizations We are studying ancient Greek/Egyptian civilization.
3 : all the societies of the world a book about life on the planet after wars have destroyed civilization

Full Definition of civilization

1a : 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
3a : 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.

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Other Words from civilization

civilizational \ ˌsi-​və-​lə-​ˈzā-​shnəl How to pronounce civilization (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms for civilization

Synonyms

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Examples of civilization in a Sentence

the impact of technical advancements on civilization We are studying ancient Greek civilization. a book about life on the planet after wars have destroyed civilization
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Recent Examples on the Web The ability to recognize crosswalks, buses, etc., is rare and highly prized in this civilization; humans with that skill are entitled to special benefits. Washington Post, 19 Aug. 2021 The study, not yet peer reviewed, said that before the industrial era, the region’s late June triple-digit heat was the type that would not have happened in human civilization. Seth Borenstein, Anchorage Daily News, 7 July 2021 The study, not yet peer reviewed, said that before the industrial era, the region’s late June triple-digit heat was the type that would not have happened in human civilization. NBC News, 7 July 2021 Capitalism is rooted in a civilization that is based on difference. Vinson Cunningham, Los Angeles Times, 17 Mar. 2021 Even in his own day, Wagner’s belief that the theater was not simply the most potent shaping factor in civilization but offered a vehicle for the wholesale regeneration of all mankind, was regarded by most of mankind as hopelessly out of date. Barnaby Crowcroft, National Review, 26 Dec. 2020 The new series follows a group of Nebraska teens raised in a surviving civilization of the postapocalyptic world. Tribune News Service, cleveland, 4 Oct. 2020 The new series follows a group of Nebraska teens raised in a surviving civilization of the postapocalyptic world. Chuck Barney, Detroit Free Press, 2 Oct. 2020 Living so far from civilization, the Browns have to be creative thinkers to do their job well. Washington Post, 3 Sep. 2021

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.

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First Known Use of civilization

1760, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for civilization

see civil

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Time Traveler for civilization

Time Traveler

The first known use of civilization was in 1760

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Dictionary Entries Near civilization

civilizable

civilization

civilizatory

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Statistics for civilization

Last Updated

20 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Civilization.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/civilization. Accessed 20 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for civilization

civilization

noun
civ·​i·​li·​za·​tion | \ ˌsi-və-lə-ˈzā-shən How to pronounce civilization (audio) \

Kids Definition of civilization

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

More from Merriam-Webster on civilization

Nglish: Translation of civilization for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of civilization for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about civilization

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