civilization

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

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 \ -​shnəl , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

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 Teopanzolco site originated with the Tlahuica civilization, which founded the city of Cuauhnahuac (today known as Cuernavaca) around 1200, as G. William Hood chronicles for Viva Cuernavaca. Meilan Solly, Smithsonian, "Earthquake Reveals 12th-Century Temple Hidden Within Aztec Pyramid," 12 July 2018 But last year, archaeologists resumed their efforts in a much more robust campaign to discover more bones and skulls — and more about the lost civilization. Ian Shapira, Washington Post, "Everyone thought he was killed by a giant rock at Pompeii. Then, they found his skull.," 29 June 2018 Once home to the Olmecs, the earliest known civilization in Mexico, much of the non-Catholic beliefs and practices can be traced back to these indigenous roots. Megan Spurrell, Condé Nast Traveler, "In Catemaco, Mexico's 'Land of the Sorcerers'," 29 Mar. 2018 Perhaps the seminal civilization for Asia, India is a land of innovation, the birthplace of everything from major world religions to the number zero. Antonia Neubauer, Town & Country, "How to Plan a Trip to Asia," 5 Oct. 2016 According to the Idaho State Journal, Zoo Idaho Director Peter Pruett said the bear was safely tranquilized Tuesday afternoon, and Idaho Fish and Game will transport the bear to a safe, more suitable environment away from civilization. Christina Lords, idahostatesman, "Wild bear breaks into S. Idaho zoo, climbs tree to wait out Fish and Game officials," 3 July 2018 Photos via Inhabitat This quaint cabin in Winthrop, Washington, is tucked among the pines and looks like the perfect retreat from civilization. Alex Bazeley, Curbed, "This midcentury modern-inspired cabin offers a cozy getaway," 29 June 2018 That insight extends to her male characters, too, propelling her to cast Hell or High Water star Foster in the role of Will, the military vet whose demons keep him away from modern civilization. Nicole Sperling, HWD, "The Filmmaker Who Discovered Jennifer Lawrence Has Found a New Star in Leave No Trace," 26 June 2018 The mile-long drive off the main road pulls guests away from civilization and toward a clubhouse that is tucked between the trees. Brent Kennedy, Howard County Times, "Whiskey Creek Golf Club," 20 June 2018

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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Statistics for civilization

Last Updated

20 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for civilization

The first known use of civilization was in 1760

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More Definitions for civilization

civilization

noun

English Language Learners Definition of civilization

: 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

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

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

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