ecumene

noun ec·u·mene \ˈekyəˌmēn, eˈkyümə(ˌ)nē\

Definition of ecumene

plural

-s

  1. 1a :  the permanently inhabited portion of the earth as distinguished from the uninhabited or temporarily inhabited area but that the southern limit of the ecumene should be pushed southward, to about latitude 68° S, in Graham Land — Geography Review b :  the nuclear area or center of maximum activity of a state having the densest population and the closest network of transportation routes Russia's ecumene is on the same grand scale as that of the U.S. — Derwent Whittlesey

  2. 2 anthropology :  a nuclear area of high culture to which neighboring regions stand in a relation of cultural backwardness or dependence :  civilization

Love words? You must — there are over 200,000 words in our free online dictionary, but you are looking for one that’s only in the Merriam-Webster Unabridged Dictionary.

Join MWU now and get access to America’s largest dictionary, with:

  • 300,000 words that aren't in our free dictionary
  • Expanded definitions, etymologies, and usage notes
  • Advanced search features
  • Ad free!

Origin and Etymology of ecumene

Greek oikoumenē, from feminine of oikoumenos inhabited, present participle middle of oikein to inhabit, from oikos house, habitation — more at vicinity


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up ecumene? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

capable of being understood in two ways

Get Word of the Day daily email!