Definition of Civilization

1. Noun. A society in an advanced state of social development (e.g., with complex legal and political and religious organizations). "The people slowly progressed from barbarism to civilization"

Exact synonyms: Civilisation
Category relationships: Government, Political Science, Politics
Generic synonyms: Society
Specialized synonyms: Islam, Muslimism
Derivative terms: Civilize

2. Noun. The social process whereby societies achieve an advanced stage of development and organization.
Exact synonyms: Civilisation
Generic synonyms: Social Process
Derivative terms: Civilise

3. Noun. A particular society at a particular time and place. "Early Mayan civilization"

4. Noun. The quality of excellence in thought and manners and taste. "He is remembered for his generosity and civilization"
Exact synonyms: Civilisation, Refinement
Generic synonyms: Excellence
Derivative terms: Civilise, Civilize

Definition of Civilization

1. n. The act of civilizing, or the state of being civilized; national culture; refinement.

Definition of Civilization

1. Noun. An organized culture encompassing many communities, often on the scale of a nation or a people; a stage or system of social, political(,) or technical development. ¹

2. Noun. Human society, particularly civil society. ¹

3. Noun. The act or process of civilizing or becoming civilized. ¹

4. Noun. The state or quality of being civilized. ¹

5. Noun. (obsolete) The act of rendering a criminal process civil. ¹

6. Proper noun. Collectively, those people of the world considered to have a high standard of behavior and / or a high level of development. Commonly subjectively used by people of one society to exclusively refer to their society, or their elite sub-group, or a few associated societies, implying all others, in time or geography or status, as something less than civilised, as savages or barbarians. ''cf refinement, elitism, civilised society, the Civilised World'' ¹

¹ Source:

Definition of Civilization

1. [n -S]

Medical Definition of Civilization

1. The distinctly human attributes and attainments of a particular society. (12 Dec 1998)

Lexicographical Neighbors of Civilization

civilization (current term)

Literary usage of Civilization

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. The Catholic Encyclopedia: An International Work of Reference on the by Charles George Herbermann, Edward Aloysius Pace, Condé Bénoist Pallen, Thomas Joseph Shahan, John Joseph Wynne (1913)
"And so the development of Byzantine civilization resulted from three ... Beside the Greeks, only the Armenians had developed a civilization of their own. ..."

2. The Outline of History: Being a Plain History of Life and Mankind by Herbert George Wells (1921)
"The Greeks did not grow a civilization of their own ; they wrecked one and put ... They came into this inheritance of a previous civilization with the ideas ..."

3. Annual Report by Illinois Farmers' Institute (1899)
"When a savage nation begins to farm it begins to be civilized; as long as it farms it is civilized. The better it farms, the better its civilization; ..."

4. Library of the World's Best Literature, Ancient and Modern by Edward Cornelius Towne (1897)
"civilization From the ' General History of civilization in Europe' THE situation in which we are placed, as Frenchmen, affords us a great advantage for ..."

5. Primitive Culture: Researches Into the Development of Mythology, Philosophy by Edward Burnett Tylor (1871)
"Culture or civilization—Its phenomena related according to definito Laws- Method of ... CULTURE or civilization, taken in its wide ethnographic sense, ..."

6. Cyclopaedia of Political Science, Political Economy, and of the Political by John Joseph Lalor (1883)
"to their own limited elements of civilization. To obtain other resources or elements of civilization, they would have had to cross the abyss of the ocean. ..."

7. Southern History of the War by Edward Alfred Pollard (1865)
"We Confederates are not only fighting in this war for independence, but for the front rank in the civilization of this continent, and for a destiny of power ..."

8. The Miscellaneous and Posthumous Works of Henry Thomas Buckle by Henry Thomas Buckle (1872)
"Ritter has noted the connection between the extent of sea-coast and civilization.8 Archdeacon Hare oracularly tells us, without a word of explanation, ..."

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