medieval

adjective
me·​di·​e·​val | \ ˌmē-ˈdē-vəl , mi-, ˌme-, -dē-ˈē-vəl\
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 duo didn’t actually become a couple for another two years, and married four years later in a medieval-themed wedding ceremony on the beach in Malibu, followed by shots of tequila. Samantha Drake, Country Living, "Christopher Meloni and His Wife Sherman Share the Secret to Their 20+ Year Marriage," 12 Jan. 2019 There’s a collection of armor and medieval harnesses. Mark Holgate, Vogue, "Glenn Martens Takes Y/Project Center Stage at Pitti Immagine in Florence," 9 Jan. 2019 Though people across the globe had been decorating temples and domestic interiors with evergreen flora for centuries, the holiday tradition in its modern form originated with medieval Germans. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "How Queen Victoria and Prince Albert Made Christmas Trees a Holiday Staple," 18 Dec. 2018 The 65-year-old Italian designer with a penchant for quoting Socrates and Saint Benedict has been painstakingly restoring a medieval village called Solomeo, all the while transforming a quiet rural community into a thriving manufacturing center. Alison S. Cohn, Harper's BAZAAR, "Brunello Cucinelli Celebrates 40 Years," 25 Sep. 2018 Only part of its medieval walls remain, but Palma is otherwise undergoing a major face-lift, like Lisbon and many other cities that have attracted more tourists and foreign investors. Raphael Minder, New York Times, "To Contain Tourism, One Spanish City Strikes a Ban, on Airbnb," 23 June 2018 Until that point, fictional prose mostly came in the form of Romance, not in the modern sense of Fabio and his windswept woman, but in the medieval tradition of knights and fair maidens. Lorraine Boissoneault, Smithsonian, "The First Novel for Children Taught Girls the Power of Reading," 11 Apr. 2018 The shootings occurred in a normally quiet part of France, where the main tourist attraction is the treasured old city of Carcassonne, its medieval walls and its summertime festivals. BostonGlobe.com, "At least 3 dead after gunman attacks French supermarket," 23 Mar. 2018 Star Wars pulls from a lot of sources, but its most iconic moments come from medieval tradition—duels. Joe Pappalardo, Popular Mechanics, "'The Last Jedi' Is the History of Human Warfare in Reverse," 20 Dec. 2017

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

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

31 Jan 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

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