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

Though the general concept had been around for millennia, the first European mention of it in a scientific text came in 1530. Linda Rodriguez Mcrobbie,, "How ice cream made America," 30 June 2018 Uniquely gentle compared to most other substances, and totally understood by humans for millennia, the high is exactly why tens of millions of Americans interact with cannabis. Chris Goldstein,, "A cynical stoner looks back on 4/20," 23 Apr. 2018 At the start of the millennium, the bloc had just 15 members — none of them east of the old Iron Curtain. Washington Post, "In Eastern Europe, the E.U. faces a rebellion more threatening than Brexit," 5 Apr. 2018 Its return can be traced partly to our current obsession with all things turn-of-the-millennium, from Paris Hilton and her Juicy Couture wardrobe to Neo’s slick vinyl looks in The Matrix. Emilia Petrarca, The Cut, "Oh God, Are We Really Dressing Like Ali G?," 6 Apr. 2018 Among all nations the OECD tracks, only Turkey, Lithuania, and South Korea have been lower at any point this millennium. Andrew Van Dam,, "Limited unionization and government aid hold back US workers, study says," 4 July 2018 The famous ancient site at Stonehenge may have been built using Greek philosopher Pythagoras’ famous theorem two millennia before the mathematical equation was developed, experts say. James Rogers, Fox News, "Stonehenge secret: Did builders use Pythagoras' theorem 2,000 years before the philosopher lived?," 21 June 2018 New England, Green Bay and Pittsburgh haven’t drafted high in the NFL this millennium. Dave Hyde,, "Hyde: The Heat are facing a holy war against Philadelphia | Commentary," 7 Apr. 2018 The Patriots have been the preeminent NFL franchise of this millennium, winning Super Bowls after the 2001, 2003-04, 2014 and 2016 seasons, and appearing in the game three other times. Dave Birkett, Detroit Free Press, "Lions president Rod Wood insists: 'We're not trying to replicate Patriots'," 14 Feb. 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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Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for millennium

The first known use of millennium was circa 1638

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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


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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Comments on millennium

What made you want to look up millennium? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to deposit or conceal in a hiding place

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