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

In the year since, the op-ed itself has largely been forgotten, new sensations and scandals burying it daily like the sediment of successive civilizations. Paul Farhi, Washington Post, "Some secrets do keep. A year later, the Trump official who penned an explosive op-ed is still unknown.," 1 Sep. 2019 Asymmetrical globalization over the last 30 years has created levels of wealth among the elite never envisioned in the history of civilization. Victor Davis Hanson, The Mercury News, "Victor Davis Hanson: Why socialism, and why now?," 30 Aug. 2019 Members of ancient civilizations were not unlike us in this manner, explains Rachael Gibson, the former web editor of Hairdressers Journal who is known on Instagram as the Hair Historian. Anna Purna Kambhampaty, Time, "From Marie Antoinette to JoJo Siwa, Hair Bows Have a Surprisingly Meaningful History," 8 Aug. 2019 Whoever attempt to patronize and bully the Chinese people in any name, or preach a 'clash of civilizations' to resist the trend of times will never succeed. Fox News, "China chides Mike Pompeo after he calls on them to reveal Tiananmen Square death toll," 5 June 2019 If McKillop and Aoyama are correct, the Maya join a long list of civilizations that relied on trade in salted fish to provide a storable, high-calorie food source in times of famine. Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Small Mayan saltworks could have supplied thousands, preserved food," 9 Oct. 2018 Around 4,200 years ago, a devastating drought lasted for at least a hundred years and caused the collapse of civilizations around the world. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "According to Geologists, We're Living In a New Age," 18 July 2018 Professor Mary Beard, well known for her work on TV documentaries, was given a damehood for services to the study of classical civilizations. Laura Smith-spark, CNN, "Actress Emma Thompson made a dame in Queen's birthday honors list," 8 June 2018 That area is home to many of Egypt’s dark-skinned Nubian people, one of the world’s oldest civilizations. Norma Meyer, sandiegouniontribune.com, "12 days to explore the ancient wonders of Egypt," 10 May 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

8 Sep 2019

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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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