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

Or in medieval England, you were supposed to put a piece of hemlock in your sock and walk around with it. Angela Chen, The Verge, "Why we don’t have a hangover cure yet," 21 Dec. 2018 The windows used in Tudor houses are also a unique nod to medieval architecture. Maggie Burch, House Beautiful, "There's A Reason You Don't See Many Tudor-Style Homes These Days," 1 Nov. 2018 As my pelvis submitted to a pain akin to medieval torture, my chest finally received the weight of my daughter, who, immediately upon contact, began to nurse contentedly. Frances F. Denny, Harper's BAZAAR, "What People Don’t Tell You About Childbirth: The Realities of Vaginal Tearing," 16 July 2018 Her father, Jeremy, was a professor of medieval history at Southern Methodist University in Dallas; her mother, Madeleine de Jean, is a writer and Champagne expert. Richard Sandomir, New York Times, "Constance Adams, Architect of Space Habitats, Is Dead at 53," 28 June 2018 My travails to snag it — risking it being seized by customs, overpaying sellers, weathering formula changes — surely rival those of the Arthurian knights who searched for their own Holy Grail in medieval lore. Cheryl Wischhover, Vox, "The “best” lipstick probably won’t change your life — but the search for it can," 12 Dec. 2018 Bengoechea had pulled a medieval-looking flag from the Palazzo’s exterior through a window, allowing the flag to spill inwards, and cover the exquisite marble work like a carpet. Lilah Ramzi, Vogue, "In Her New Book, Wendy Goodman Asks May I Come In? Thankfully, a Lot of People Said Yes," 4 Oct. 2018 Audi Pick up your car at one of two locations in Germany: Audi's headquarters in the medieval walled city of Ingolstadt or the Neckarsulm factory. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "How To Get a (Mostly) Free European Road Trip When You Buy a Car," 24 Sep. 2018 Then there’s the medieval-looking Dungeon restaurant with family crests dangling above. Laura Dannen Redman, Condé Nast Traveler, "18 Summers: The Ultimate Guide to Not Wasting a Single Vacation With Your Kids," 20 July 2018

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

3 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

: 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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