Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

civilization - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun     civilization pronunciation in British English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [countable/uncountable] a society that has developed its own culture and institutions

    the history of Western civilization

    the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt

    1. b.
    2. c.
      [uncountable] human society in general

      the end of civilization as we know it

  2. 2
    [uncountable] often humorous a place such as a large city where you have the modern things that make life easy

    After a week of camping, I was glad to get back to civilization.



to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play