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[mee-dee-ee-vuh l, med-ee-, mid-ee-, mid-ee-vuh l] /ˌmi diˈi vəl, ˌmɛd i-, ˌmɪd i-, mɪdˈi vəl/
Related forms
antimediaeval, adjective
antimediaevally, adverb
postmediaeval, adjective
pseudomediaeval, adjective
quasi-mediaeval, adjective
unmediaeval, adjective


or mediaeval

[mee-dee-ee-vuh l, med-ee-, mid-ee-, mid-ee-vuh l] /ˌmi diˈi vəl, ˌmɛd i-, ˌmɪd i-, mɪdˈi vəl/
of, pertaining to, characteristic of, or in the style of the Middle Ages:
medieval architecture.
Compare Middle Ages.
Informal. extremely old-fashioned; primitive.
Origin of medieval
1820-30; < New Latin medi(um) aev(um) the middle age + -al1. See medium, age
Related forms
medievally, adverb
antimedieval, adjective
antimedievally, adverb
postmedieval, adjective
pseudomedieval, adjective
pseudomedievally, adverb
quasi-medieval, adjective
unmedieval, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for mediaeval
Historical Examples
  • It is odd how one gets callous to death, a mediaeval callousness.

    Ballads of a Bohemian Robert W. Service
  • Henceforth all the mediaeval chalices were fashioned with a six-sided foot.

    English Villages P. H. Ditchfield
  • What is meant by the "Middle Ages" or the "mediaeval" period?

    Introductory American History Henry Eldridge Bourne
  • Flowers, tears, applause—that has had its time; it's a mediaeval conception.

    Under Western Eyes Joseph Conrad
  • It is neither Asiatic nor mediaeval in its essential character.

  • The kitchen was a crucible, and the old dame a mediaeval alchemist.

    The Dragon Painter

    Mary McNeil Fenollosa
  • The mediaeval Christian insisted that God gave man a charter.

    A Miscellany of Men G. K. Chesterton
  • That is the paradox of mediaeval morals: as it must appear to the moderns.

    A Miscellany of Men G. K. Chesterton
  • Such a belief was indeed the bedrock of mediaeval political thought.

  • But the mediaeval ideal, like the Greek, broke down in practice.

British Dictionary definitions for mediaeval


a variant spelling of medieval


of, relating to, or in the style of the Middle Ages
(informal) old-fashioned; primitive
Derived Forms
medievally, mediaevally, adverb
Word Origin
C19: from New Latin medium aevum the middle age. See medium, age
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mediaeval

see medieval.



1827, "pertaining to or suggestive of the Middle Ages," coined in English from Latin medium "the middle" (see medium (n.)) + aevum "age" (see eon).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mediaeval in Culture

medieval definition

A descriptive term for people, objects, events, and institutions of the Middle Ages.

Note: “Medieval” is sometimes used as a term of disapproval for outdated ideas and customs. It may suggest inhuman practices, such as torture of prisoners. (See Inquisition.)
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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