millennium

noun
mil·​len·​ni·​um | \mə-ˈle-nē-əm \
plural millennia\-​nē-​ə \ 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

Although few traditions about Mars survive, astronomers focusing on Australia have evidence that Aboriginal peoples across the region tracked it and the other planets carefully for millennia. Meghan Bartels, Space.com, "Who Discovered Mars, Anyway? A Look Back at the History of the Red Planet," 27 July 2018 The stomach contents of the corpse, widely known as Oetzi the Iceman, offer a snapshot of what ancient Europeans ate more than five millennia ago, researchers said. Washington Post, "Ancient ‘Iceman’ shows signs of a well-balanced last meal," 13 July 2018 The stomach contents of the corpse, widely known as Oetzi the Iceman, offer a snapshot of what ancient Europeans ate more than five millennia ago, researchers said. NBC News, "Insides of ancient 'Iceman' shows signs of a well-balanced last meal," 12 July 2018 For a sense of just how sophisticated and varied venom is, consider that all 300 of the world’s venomous snake species have been fine-tuning their toxins for millennia. Kyle Dickman, Outside Online, "A Rattle with Death in Yosemite," 20 June 2018 Its location, in a nameless industrial corridor north of L.A.’s Chinatown, harks back to the turn-of-the-millennium East Village. Alex Bhattacharji, WSJ, "David Chang’s Culinary Universe Is Still Growing," 2 Nov. 2018 Each has appeared on local roads since the turn of the millennium. Edward Niedermeyer, Ars Technica, "Arcimoto raised $19 million to build “fun utility vehicles”—now what?," 11 July 2018 Francis has continued his predecessors’ efforts at reconciling with the Orthodox church, and held a historic meeting with Kirill in 2016 in Cuba, the first between a pope and Russian patriarch in over a millennium. Washington Post, "Pope denounces ‘murderous indifference’ by powers in Mideast," 7 July 2018 Scientists have discovered evidence that the American swamp sparrow, Melospiza georgiana, has likely been singing the same songs for a millennium. Robert Lachlan, National Geographic, "This Bird Has Been Singing the Same Song for 1,000 Years," 20 June 2018

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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27 Nov 2018

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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 \
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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More from Merriam-Webster on millennium

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with millennium

Spanish Central: Translation of millennium

Nglish: Translation of millennium for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of millennium for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about millennium

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