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

Seeking an alternative to antibiotics, Kara found that some ancient civilizations used tiny amounts of copper or silver to help heal wounds. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Will this San Diego middle schooler save the world from superbugs?," 10 July 2019 Like the ancient civilizations before it — Egypt, Rome, the Aztecs — Bedrock City soon will crumble. Scott Craven, azcentral, "A summer-long goodbye: Bedrock City welcomes final visitors before taking off as Raptor Ranch," 14 June 2019 What ancient civilization managed to become so well established yet remain hidden from the rest of the world for such an astounding length of time? Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Found: A Field of Termite Mounds You Can See From Space," 19 Nov. 2018 So ancient civilizations had brains that for sure could process zero. Kate Keller, Smithsonian, "Bees May Understand Zero, a Concept That Took Humans Millennia to Grasp," 9 June 2018 Your pressed serum and solid cleansing sticks have naturally evolved since ancient civilizations, but the concepts behind them have been with us for a long time. Karina Hoshikawa, Teen Vogue, "Why I Love Skin Care," 31 Jan. 2018 Asfuroğlu began drilling for a basement and discovered a number of archaeological ruins under the site which dated back to the 3rd century B.C. and included traces from 13 different civilizations. Fox News, "How a luxury hotel was built over newly-discovered ancient ruins," 26 June 2019 Two rival civilizations are battling for supremacy. Jiayang Fan, The New Yorker, "Liu Cixin’s War of the Worlds," 17 June 2019 Underneath the forests of Guatemala, a lost world of Maya civilization is emerging, thanks to new technology that's peeling the foliage back. Discover Magazine, "Table of Contents March 2019," 16 June 2019

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

14 Jul 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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