millennium

noun
mil·​len·​ni·​um | \ mə-ˈle-nē-əm How to pronounce millennium (audio) \
plural millennia\ mə-​ˈle-​nē-​ə How to pronounce millennia (audio) \ or millenniums

Definition of millennium

1a : the thousand years mentioned in Revelation (see revelation sense 3) 20 during which holiness is to prevail and Christ is to reign on earth
b : a period of great happiness or human perfection
2a : a period of 1000 years especially : one reckoned from the beginning of the Christian era at the start of the third millennium
b : a 1000th anniversary or its celebration In 2015 the city of Leipzig, Germany, celebrated its millennium.

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Did You Know?

Since in Latin mille means "thousand", a millennium lasts 1,000 years. Thus, we're living today at the beginning of the third millennium since the birth of Christ. But some religious sects, relying on a prophecy in the biblical Book of Revelation, speak of a coming millennium when Jesus will return to reign on earth for 1,000 years, evil will be banished, and all will live in peace and happiness. Members of these sects who keep themselves in a constant state of preparedness are called millenarians or millennialists.

Examples of millennium in a Sentence

The book describes the changes that have occurred in the landscape over many millennia. The year 2000 was celebrated as the beginning of the third millennium.

Recent Examples on the Web

Well, that's anywhere from 15,000 to 16,560 years old -- an entire millennium before that ice-free pathway. Leah Asmelash, CNN, "Idaho artifacts show humans came to North America via a water route, not land," 30 Aug. 2019 The temple of Minerva in Assisi is a living thing: Plimoth Plantation and the mills of Lowell (consecrated to an industrial millennium) are tourist attractions, fenced off from the living nation beyond. Michael Knox Beran, National Review, "America’s Abandoned Places," 22 Aug. 2019 Conflict between ethnicities, nationalities, religions, ideologies, and tribes has raged for millennia and research on such intergroup conflict largely provided the foundation for my (relatively young) home discipline, social psychology. K.n.c., The Economist, "Societies are tearing apart, but they can be brought together," 14 Aug. 2019 Many Maya here continue to farm, live and dress according to indigenous traditions developed millennia before the Spanish colonized the Americas. Gabriel Diaz Montemayor, The Conversation, "Mexico wants to run a tourist train through its Mayan heartland — should it?," 13 Aug. 2019 The drive for independence has been at the heart of countless national and social movements, and its power is reflected in history books throughout the millennium. Houston Chronicle, "Parkway Place: Independence is an aspiration," 19 July 2019 The Frenchman strutting his stuff at the Lane was an iconic period that any fan of the Premier League around the millennium would struggle to forget. SI.com, "50 Most Unforgettable Haircuts in World Football," 10 July 2019 The millennium is going to be a hard thing to swallow, but many believers were promising today to do their best. San Diego Union-Tribune, "From the Archives: Prohibition closed 55 saloons in San Diego 100 years ago today," 30 June 2019 Somehow, over an unknown number of millennia, FECA turned into the last eukaryotic common ancestor, or LECA — an organism ancestral to every other subsequent eukaryote living or extinct, including ones currently unknown to science. Quanta Magazine, "Researchers Rethink the Ancestry of Complex Cells," 9 Apr. 2019

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

circa 1638, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for millennium

New Latin, from Latin mille thousand + New Latin -ennium (as in biennium)

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Statistics for millennium

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

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Time Traveler for millennium

The first known use of millennium was circa 1638

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More Definitions for millennium

millennium

noun

English Language Learners Definition of millennium

: a period of 1,000 years
: a period of a thousand years counted from the beginning of the Christian era

millennium

noun
mil·​len·​ni·​um | \ mə-ˈle-nē-əm How to pronounce millennium (audio) \
plural millennia\ -​nē-​ə \ or millenniums

Kids Definition of millennium

1 : a period of 1000 years
2 : a 1000th anniversary or its celebration

Other Words from millennium

millennial \ -​nē-​əl \ adjective

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Comments on millennium

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