millennium

noun
mil·​len·​ni·​um | \ mə-ˈle-nē-əm How to pronounce millennium (audio) \
plural millennia\ mə-​ˈle-​nē-​ə How to pronounce millennium (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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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 Until beginning of the millennium, chemists had only two methods — or catalysts — to speed up the process. David Keyton, chicagotribune.com, 6 Oct. 2021 Until beginning of the millennium, chemists had only two methods — or catalysts — to speed up the process. NBC News, 6 Oct. 2021 Until beginning of the millennium, chemists had only two methods — or catalysts — to speed up the process. David Keyton And Frank Jordans, USA TODAY, 6 Oct. 2021 Formerly once-in-a-millennium flooding in Germany, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands killed at least 196 people. New York Times, 11 Aug. 2021 Welcome to the new millennium’s greatest design challenge. Los Angeles Times, 4 Sep. 2021 Her work with Missy Elliott, Timbaland and Static Major propelled every aspect of her career forward, welding hip-hop and R&B in an eccentric fashion leading up to the millennium. Julian Kimble, Essence, 25 Aug. 2021 The dynamics of their family drama are fairly standard, as much as any millennium-old conflict can be, and the final scenes run into battle fatigue. Leah Greenblatt, EW.com, 23 Aug. 2021 For Hawaiians, surfing is both a national pastime and an ancient cultural art form spanning a millennium. NBC News, 27 July 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near millennium

millenniary

millennium

millepede

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Statistics for millennium

Last Updated

10 Oct 2021

Cite this Entry

“Millennium.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/millennium. Accessed 15 Oct. 2021.

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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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