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

The water tank known as the Great Bath of Mohenjo-Daro is part of an urban complex built by rulers of the Indus valley civilisation in the third millennium BC. The Economist, "The South Asian monsoon, past, present and future," 27 June 2019 When the new millennium approached, Laguna Beach’s latest identity began to crystallize in the form of well-to-do, lovelorn teens, as seen in Laguna Beach, an MTV reality series that put the city’s privileged youth front and center. Brock Keeling, Curbed, "The rise and fall of Laguna Beach, a gay California hotspot," 26 June 2019 The region is part of the Silk Road, a trading route that thrived for many centuries, starting late in the first millennium B.C. and continuing into the Middle Ages. Joel Achenbach, Anchorage Daily News, "Archaeologists find signs of ritualized cannabis smoking 2,500 years ago in China," 13 June 2019 Into the new millennium, the influence and inspiration of the tradition can be seen in the cultural essays of Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah, Ta-Nehisi Coates, and Doreen St. Félix. Michael Gonzales, Longreads, "It’s Like That: The Makings of a Hip-Hop Writer," 10 June 2019 By the time the new millennium came around, the couple found themselves on opposite coasts focusing on their careers. Selena Barrientos, Good Housekeeping, "Every Question You Have About 'Happy!' Star Christopher Meloni’s Wife and Two Kids, Answered," 27 Mar. 2019 In Sumer, the ancient empire in modern-day Iraq where the world’s first cities emerged in the 4th millennium BC, up to 40% of all grain production may have been devoted to beer. Amanda Foreman, WSJ, "When Women Were Brewers," 4 Oct. 2018 Some cultures—such as in Scandinavia, where canines have long been both working dogs and companions—have kept pets for millennia. The Economist, "Pets have gained the upper paw over their so-called owners," 22 June 2019 Elsewhere, cannabis plants buried with the dead may be a sign that people ate parts of the plant for a similar effect (although brownies wouldn’t be invented for millennia). Kiona N. Smith, Ars Technica, "Oldest evidence of cannabis smoking found in ancient Chinese cemetery," 12 June 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

10 Jul 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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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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