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

Their origin dates back to the medieval era, when monks created bitter herbal elixirs as medicine. Michelle Gordon, azcentral, "Everyday Italian," 11 June 2018 Explore these ancient illuminated manuscripts which reveal the cultural exchange between Asia and Europe dating back to the medieval era. Brittany Martin, Los Angeles Magazine, "The Best Exhibits at Museums and Galleries in L.A. This Month," 5 June 2018 Yet in an interesting twist showing a combination of medieval and modern practices, Yemenis began reproducing manuscript pages with photocopiers, while binding the printed results using traditional methods. Christian C. Sahner, WSJ, "Yemen’s Threatened Cultural Heritage," 25 Dec. 2018 The space itself will be reminiscent of the medieval fortress villages the Landes region is known for. Liz Stinson, Curbed, "Medieval-inspired French village is designed specifically for Alzheimer’s patients," 12 June 2018 Ripert, Bourdain and the crew of the CNN show had traveled early last week to the medieval village of Kayserberg in northeastern France to film an episode on Alsatian food. Fox News, "The troubling signs leading up to Anthony Bourdain's suicide," 10 June 2018 Along with the papal treasures, the Met show includes garments for more ordinary mortals by designers spanning Azzedine Alia to Vivienne Westwood, all set against the backdrop of the Met’s collection of medieval and religious artwork. Washington Post, "Vatican, Versace and Vogue team up for Met’s spring exhibit," 26 Feb. 2018 Kilkenny,one of the highlights of this region and rooted in medieval heritage, was founded in the 16th century by Saint Canice, one of the Twelve Apostles of Ireland. Nicola Fumo, Town & Country, "What to Pack for an Irish Getaway," 4 Mar. 2019 This pedestrian-friendly medieval town features vibrantly colored buildings in yellows, pinks, and greens that are just begging to be photographed. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The 25 most colorful cities in the world," 19 Feb. 2019

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

23 Apr 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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