1839, "belonging to or typical of the reign of Queen Victoria of Great Britain" (ruled 1837-1901). Figurative sense of "typified by prudish or outdated attitudes" is attested by 1934. The noun meaning "a person from or typical of Victorian times" is from 1876.
A descriptive term for the time when Victoria was queen of England, from 1837 to 1901. The Victorian period in England is known as a time of industrial progress, colonial expansion, and public fastidiousness in morals. The Victorian period in the United States had many of the same characteristics.