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 One of Michigan’s rivals from a bygone era, Jim Tressel, predicted Harbaugh would even the rivalry with the Buckeyes that turned lopsided near the beginning of the new millennium. Rainer Sabin, Detroit Free Press, "Jim Harbaugh and the uncomfortable truth of his Michigan football tenure," 18 Oct. 2020 It is anchored in the personalities of Matthew, Zoe and Duncan, as the millennium ends. Bill Buford, Star Tribune, "REVIEWS: 'Dirt,' by Bill Buford, and 'The Boy in the Field,' by Margot Livesey," 10 Oct. 2020 Per the paper, the find is indicative of a broader shift toward urban settlement in the region around the turn of the first millennium A.D. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "In Ancient Kazakhstan, Nomadic Herders Kept Their Toothless Pet Cat Alive," 13 July 2020 In fall 1998, the school community decided to commemorate the coming new millennium by refurbishing the school’s bell. Suzanne Baker, chicagotribune.com, "First-day-of-class bell peals at Naperville’s Brookdale Elementary -- even without students," 3 Sep. 2020 Back in another time, journalist and Pulitzer Prize-winning historian Anne Applebaum and her husband, Radosław Sikorski, threw a high-spirited New Year’s Eve party at their manor house in rural Poland to celebrate the turn of the millennium. Barbara Spindel, The Christian Science Monitor, "The reasons why democracy is in decline around the world," 31 Aug. 2020 Over the first decades of the new millennium, Scandinavian logging companies cleared thousands of hectares of this forest, and replanted it with conifers. Saul Elbein, National Geographic, "Estonia’s ‘holy forests’ threatened by demand for biofuels," 24 Aug. 2020 The start of the new millennium brought with it new advancements in technology that dramatically changed the way parade floats and balloons were operated. Emily Vanschmus, Better Homes & Gardens, "The Most Iconic Photos from the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade," 12 Aug. 2020 The layers in which the flints were found date to the eighth millennium B.C., the researchers write in the journal Antiquity. Alex Fox, Smithsonian Magazine, "Do These 10,000-Year-Old Flint Artifacts Depict Human Figures?," 16 July 2020

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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Time Traveler for millennium

Time Traveler

The first known use of millennium was circa 1638

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Statistics for millennium

Last Updated

21 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Millennium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/millennium. Accessed 26 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for millennium

millennium

noun
How to pronounce millennium (audio)

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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