medieval

adjective
me·​di·​e·​val | \ ˌmē-ˈdē-vəl How to pronounce medieval (audio) , mi-, ˌme-, -dē-ˈē-vəl How to pronounce medieval (audio) \
variants: or less commonly mediaeval

Definition of medieval

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : of, relating to, or characteristic of the Middle Ages medieval history medieval architecture
2 : having a quality (such as cruelty) associated with the Middle Ages
3 : extremely outmoded or antiquated has medieval ideas about the role of women in our society

medieval

noun
variants: or less commonly mediaeval

Definition of medieval (Entry 2 of 2)

: a person of the Middle Ages

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Other Words from medieval

Adjective

medievally adverb

Did You Know?

With its roots medi-, meaning "middle", and ev-, meaning "age", medieval literally means "of the Middle Ages". In this case, middle means "between the Roman empire and the Renaissance"—that is, after the fall of the great Roman state and before the "rebirth" of culture that we call the Renaissance. This same period used to be called the "Dark Ages", since it was believed that in these years civilization all but vanished. And indeed, for most Europeans in these centuries, it was a time of poverty, famine, plague, and superstition, rather than the age of magic, dazzling swordplay, towering castles, and knights in splendid armor displayed in today's graphic novels and video games.

Examples of medieval in a Sentence

Adjective

They're using a computer system that seems positively medieval by today's standards. get rid of that medieval kerosene stove—it stinks and it's dangerous

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The most comparable event was the transition from the medieval to the modern period. The Atlantic, "The Metamorphosis," 11 July 2019 The polished, regal, and almost medieval-inspired design was ideal for the wedding's setting, in a French chateau, and subtly channeled Turner's most notable role, Sansa Stark on Game of Thrones. Carrie Goldberg, Harper's BAZAAR, "Sophie Turner's Wedding Gown Took Over 350 Hours to Make," 8 July 2019 With soldiers standing by as towns are taken over, the conflicts in some areas are becoming almost medieval. Washington Post, "Toxic mix of gangs, vigilantes fuels rising Mexican violence," 22 June 2019 By July of that year columnist Maureen Dowd seems to have concluded that the Trump administration had gone fully medieval: Wicked siblings willing to do anything for power. James Freeman, WSJ, "Donald Trump and the New York Times," 20 June 2019 Elsewhere in Europe and the Mediterranean, medieval, early modern, and modern Jews lived more varied economic lives, engaging in agriculture, manual labor, and a wide range of crafts. Sara Lipton, The New York Review of Books, "A Terribly Durable Myth," 17 June 2019 Delve into Africa’s diverse cultural heritage, from medieval Fez to the Omani palaces of Zanzibar, and retrace history on visits to Ghana’s Elmina slave castle and Cape Town. National Geographic, "Africa by Private Jet," 12 June 2019 That's the inevitable outcome after the U.S. women brawled to a 2-1 victory over Spain on Monday in the medieval town of Reims, playing their ugliest but toughest soccer yet to clinch a spot in the quarterfinals. Liz Clarke, courant.com, "Better early than never: US-France is a World Cup quarterfinal with big-time stakes," 25 June 2019 From the top of the cliff, the trail of chains and ladders leading to the base of Mooney Falls looks medieval. Scott Craven, azcentral, "Hiking to Havasupai: How far is it, what's Mooney Falls like and everything you need to know," 24 June 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

And maybe also to sort out this whole Jaime/Tormund love triangle situation—a new (and supremely bizarre) subplot that positions Ser Brienne as a medieval Kelly Taylor, forced to choose between Brandon and Dylan. Courtney Shea, Harper's BAZAAR, "Brienne of Tarth Lives—And Gwendoline Christie Has Some Thoughts About that Love Triangle," 6 May 2019 Although most manuscripts date to the late medieval and early modern periods, the practice of copying by hand endured in Yemen well into the 20th century. Christian C. Sahner, WSJ, "Yemen’s Threatened Cultural Heritage," 25 Dec. 2018 Sitting at the foothills of the mystical Mount Taygetus, not only is this medieval walled town a UNESCO World Heritage Monument immersed in fascinating history, but the surrounding natural environment is rugged, raw, and inspiringly real. Alex Postman, Condé Nast Traveler, "28 Places Our Travel Specialists Say You Should Go in 2019," 17 Dec. 2018 Candid, gossipy and occasionally imperiled by demons, Margery Kempe was a 15th-century mystic and the author of a terrific medieval tell-all. Alexis Soloski, New York Times, "10 Plays and Musicals to Go to in N.Y.C. This Weekend," 5 July 2018 Along the way, cyclists pedal past medieval walled villages like Montreuil and the 18th-century Chateau de Long. David Farley, WSJ, "The Best Guides to Cycling Major Cities—Even Los Angeles," 10 May 2018 Starting May 13 and for at least the rest of the month, the medieval Bled Castle will host an exposition on bees and beekeeping in the area. Jeanine Barone, New York Times, "Fall in Love With Bees on an ‘Apitourism’ Trip to Slovenia," 9 May 2018 The invite promises a weekend of bloodsports, but what Greer and the other invitees don't know is that the Medievals just might be hunting, shooting and fishing them over the next three days. Borys Kit, The Hollywood Reporter, "Fox 2000, Chernin Entertainment Pick Up Buzzy YA Novel 'S.T.A.G.S.' (Exclusive)," 8 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'medieval.' 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 medieval

Adjective

1817, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

1856, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for medieval

Adjective and Noun

New Latin medium aevum Middle Ages

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Statistics for medieval

Last Updated

18 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for medieval

The first known use of medieval was in 1817

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More Definitions for medieval

medieval

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of medieval

: of or relating to the Middle Ages : of or relating to the period of European history from about A.D. 500 to about 1500
informal : very old : too old to be useful or acceptable

medieval

adjective
me·​di·​eval
variants: also mediaeval \ ˌmē-​dē-​ˈē-​vəl , ˌme-​ \

Kids Definition of medieval

: of or relating to the Middle Ages medieval castles medieval French

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More from Merriam-Webster on medieval

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with medieval

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for medieval

Spanish Central: Translation of medieval

Nglish: Translation of medieval for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of medieval for Arabic Speakers

Comments on medieval

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