un·​civ·​i·​lized | \ ˌən-ˈsi-və-ˌlīzd How to pronounce uncivilized (audio) \

Definition of uncivilized

1 : not civilized : barbarous
2 : remote from settled areas : wild

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Examples of uncivilized in a Sentence

He was awakened at an uncivilized hour. They believe that capital punishment is uncivilized.
Recent Examples on the Web In fictional imaginings of a lethal pandemic, a visceral panic often sweeps through frightened crowds and leads to decidedly uncivilized behavior. Marc Fisher, Washington Post, "Amid coronavirus outbreak, a thin line between prudence and panic," 13 Mar. 2020 The opposite of uncivilized isn’t being a different flavor of the same thing. Kyle Whitmire, al, "Whitmire: When good things happen to bad people," 6 Feb. 2020 White artists typically characterized Native Americans as violent and uncivilized, but Lewis showed more respect for their civilization. Alice George, Smithsonian, "Sculptor Edmonia Lewis Shattered Gender and Race Expectations in 19th-Century America," 25 July 2018 The prevalence of bloviating, uncivilized screamers makes Charles’s self-effacing reserve especially refreshing. Fay Vincent, WSJ, "Charles Krauthammer Goes Out Like Gehrig," 10 June 2018 At the time the rule was put into place, the NBA was viewed as an uncivilized place, with skirmishes detracting from what has since moved to a more free-flowing, aesthetically pleasing game. Ira Winderman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "ASK IRA: Has NBA common sense arrived too late for Heat?," 3 June 2018 These hunters see their sport not as an uncivilized pastime, but as an enlightened pursuit, embodying respect for the environment, sustainable wildlife management practices, and locally harvested food. Kevin Riordan, Philly.com, "Bear, boar, pickerel and politics on N.J. 'Wild Game Night' menu | Kevin Riordan," 10 Apr. 2018 In short, Congolese men and women are portrayed as uncivilized and barbaric. Nina Wilén, Washington Post, "War-torn Congo has been called the “rape capital of the world.” Here is how fighters think about sexual violence.," 31 Aug. 2017 And though its most populous resort town, South Padre Island, is known for its thumping spring break bacchanalia, the majority of this unattached spit of land remains uncivilized in the other sense of the word. Jordan Breal, New York Times, "On Padre in Texas, Soft Sand, Shells and Seclusion," 6 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'uncivilized.' 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 uncivilized

1607, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for uncivilized

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The first known use of uncivilized was in 1607

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Cite this Entry

“Uncivilized.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/uncivilized. Accessed 11 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for uncivilized


How to pronounce uncivilized (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of uncivilized

: not polite, reasonable, or respectful
: showing no concern for the well-being of people or for the proper way to behave toward people
old-fashioned : not having the kinds of social systems, technologies, etc., that are seen in most modern societies


un·​civ·​i·​lized | \ ˌən-ˈsi-və-ˌlīzd How to pronounce uncivilized (audio) \

Kids Definition of uncivilized

1 : having, relating to, or being like a culture that is not advanced
2 : not having or showing good manners : rude

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