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Definition of "civilization" [civ•i•li•za•tion]

  • An advanced state of intellectual, cultural, and material development in human society, marked by progress in the arts and sciences, the extensive use of record-keeping, including writing, and the appearance of complex political and social institutions. (noun)
  • The type of culture and society developed by a particular nation or region or in a particular epoch: Mayan civilization; the civilization of ancient Rome. (noun)
  • The act or process of civilizing or reaching a civilized state. (noun)
  • Cultural or intellectual refinement; good taste. (noun)
  • Modern society with its conveniences: returned to civilization after camping in the mountains. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "civilization" in a sentence
  • "I add further, _that slavery anticipates the benefits of civilization, and retards the evils of civilization_."
  • "I prize highly the advantages of civilization, and the blessings of civil and religious liberty; but never shall a vote of mine be given to encourage unjust invasion and conquest on the pretext of pushing “civilization, ” or to carry the Bible with the sword, so that rapacity may call its crimes “the diffusion of Christianity."
  • "The real cure for the evils of civilization would appear to be _more civilization_, or, better, perhaps, _higher_ civilization."