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 \ ˌsi-​və-​lə-​ˈzā-​shnəl , -​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

Since the dawn of civilization, humanity has accomplished many great things. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "This Is How You Make a Perfect New York Bagel," 28 Dec. 2018 The coronation is a nod to Puerto Rico’s Taino roots, a civilization that had kings and queens. Elvia Malagon, chicagotribune.com, "Openly gay boxer to visit Chicago for Pride, Puerto Rican parades," 15 June 2018 Jules Verne imagined dinosaurs and enormous humans living underground in Journey to the Center of the Earth, while H. Rider Haggard created a lost civilization in King Solomon’s Mines. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "What if Napoleon Hadn’t Lost Europe and Other Questions of Alternate History," 14 June 2018 After 9/11, Islam seemed to reprise its role as the traditional Other on the borders of a Western, Christian civilization. Peter Slezkine, The New Republic, "What Happened to the “Free World”?," 22 May 2018 To me, that’s one of the basic tenets of a compassionate civilization. Aidin Vaziri, San Francisco Chronicle, "Pop Quiz: Franz Ferdinand singer Alex Kapranos on channeling Billy Idol, covering Drake and searching for goosebumps," 9 May 2018 In contrast to Hoth and Tatooine, the mixture of gases in Earth’s atmosphere is just right to support a thriving biosphere and a flourishing human civilization. Scott Denning, Washington Post, "May the 4th be with Earth, a perfect planet that’s not too Hoth or Tatooine," 4 May 2018 This isn't the sort of social division that a civilization escapes from without civil war or worse. Carl Lamarre, Billboard, "Kanye West to Hot 97's Morning Host Ebro Darden: 'I Love Donald Trump'," 23 Apr. 2018 Parts of the Amazon rainforest that were long believed to be almost uninhabited were actually home to a thriving, ancient civilization buried for centuries by jungle growth, according to a new discovery by archaeologists. Laignee Barron, Time, "Satellite Images Aided the Discovery of an Ancient Civilization Buried in the Amazon," 28 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

14 Jan 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 \

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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