civilization

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

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 civilizational (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective

Synonyms for civilization

Synonyms

culture, life, lifestyle, society

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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

Early civilizations found the spring equinox and these other heavenly happenings a reliable way to keep track of the seasons, and many of today’s cultures continue to pay tribute to them just as their ancestors did. Jill Gleeson, Country Living, "What Exactly Is the Spring Equinox?," 19 Mar. 2019 In the midst of yet another chaotic news cycle, Olivia Munn has written a short essay on one of the most important issues currently plaguing civilization: fashion critics calling out bad outfits. Lauren Alexis Fisher, Harper's BAZAAR, "Why Criticizing a Bad Red Carpet Outfit Is Not Sexist—or Personal," 25 Apr. 2019 In a visit to Poland a year ago, the U.S. president hailed the country as a bulwark of Western civilization, which some critics interpreted as a ringing endorsement of the same populist-nationalist style that helped propel Trump to power. Laura King, latimes.com, "Poland sees opportunity and peril in NATO summit and Trump-Putin meeting," 9 July 2018 On December 12, 1972, Roberto Canessa and Fernando Parrado took off through the mountains to find help and, after 10 days, reached civilization, which led to the rescue of the remaining survivors. Brynn Mannino, Woman's Day, "9 Miraculous Rescues," 4 Nov. 2010 Nuclear weapons are enormously destructive devices capable of level entire cities, and arguably ending human civilization in the case of an all-out nuclear exchange. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "What If We Blew Up All The World’s Nukes at Once?," 1 Apr. 2019 Just 12 miles off the coast of Maine, Monhegan Island has always been a haven for artists looking to escape modern civilization in the summers. Condé Nast Traveler, "Car-Free Destinations for Your Next Island Vacation," 1 June 2018 The School organized a service-learning experience in India this year which emphasized for ASU students that the world’s largest liberal democracy arose from a blending of Hindu, Muslim, and Western civilizations in south Asia. Valerie Strauss, Washington Post, "Professor: A disturbing story about the influence of the Koch network in higher education," 22 Apr. 2018 Which was a weird, somewhat isolated dirt road not far from civilization in Carlsbad, California. Dateline Nbc, NBC News, "At the Desk of: Karen Israel, Dateline Producer," 22 Mar. 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

19 May 2019

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 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

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Comments on civilization

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