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 decision dovetails with President Xi Jinping’s campaign to promote the multibillion-dollar traditional Chinese medicine sector, which evolved over millennia and includes the use of herbal medicine and acupuncture. Chun Han Wong, WSJ, "China Approves Use of Rhino, Tiger Parts for Medical Treatment and Research," 30 Oct. 2018 For one, ancient rituals are technologies that have been debugged, fine-tuned, and time-tested over millennia. Sigal Samuel, The Atlantic, "A Design Lab Is Making Rituals for Secular People," 7 May 2018 These segments have become modified over the millenniums in wildly different ways. Asher Elbein, New York Times, "Insects Flew Before Anything Else Did. So How Did They Get Their Wings?," 26 Mar. 2018 Not long into the new millennium, the Internet became the most popular medium for new musical discovery by quite some margin. Emma Madden, Billboard, "How The Yeah Yeahs' 'Maps' Helped Change the Way We View the Relationship Between Pop and Indie," 26 Apr. 2018 Tattooing has been around for millennia, on nearly every continent and in many cultures. Ann Lien, House Beautiful, "These Embroidery Tattoos are Jaw-Droppingly Realistic," 10 Apr. 2019 Although the Ndebele had been in South Africa for more than a millennium, with so many fleeing to the cities for work, the tradition of painting houses was vanishing. Leena Kim, Town & Country, "T&C Family Album," 9 Apr. 2013 For millennia, fires have been one of humanity's greatest foes, completely devastating cities, buildings, and people's lives. Andrew Han, Popular Mechanics, "Meet the Robot Firefighter That Battled the Notre Dame Blaze," 17 Apr. 2019 Over the course of less than a decade, starting around the turn of the millennium, the genre entirely changed its tone and its focus. Tasha Robinson, The Verge, "The new horror film canon (and where to stream it)," 1 Nov. 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

12 Jun 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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