- "We have allowed our civilization to outrun our culture; we have allowed our technology to outdistance our theology and for this reason we find ourselves caught up with many problems."-Martin Luther King Sermon at Temple Israel of Hollywood American Rhetoric (delivered February 26, 1965)
- "As lower individuals within a society perish by contact with a civilization to which they cannot properly assimilate themselves, so ‘lower races’ in some instances disappear by similar contact with higher races whose diseases and physical vices prove too strong for them."-J. A. Hobson Imperialism: A Study (1902)
- "The cities of the Roman Empire served as centers of Greco-Roman civilization, which spread to the furthest reaches of the Mediterranean."-Marvin Perry, Margaret Jacob, Myrna Chase Western Civilization: Ideas, Politics, and Society, Volume 2 (2009)
- "The mighty forces of steam and electricity were propelling civilization on its continuing westward march."-Joseph M. Henning Outposts of civilization: race, religion, and the formative years of American-Japanese relations (2000)
- "[A]ll the good things which are connected with manners, and with civilization, have…depended for ages upon two principles…the spirit of a gentleman and the spirit of religion."-Edmund Burke Reflections on the Revolution in France, and on the Proceedings in certain Societies in London relative to that Event (1790)
- "Civilization was an unknown quantity, whereas the jungle was familiar to himself and his ancestors, and the fear transmitted by his ancestors was firmly emplanted in his mind."-Ellen Newbold La Motte Civilization Civilization: Tales of the Orient (1919)
Once a nation, culture, or group of people has been brought out of the “savage” darkness into an enlightened and advanced state, it becomes a civilization. This sense arose about the same time, but without the imperialistic undertones attached to the original meaning of the word. When used with a modifier, it refers to the civilization of a specific region ( European civilization, French civilization ), people ( Mayan civilization ), or period of time ( modern civilization ).
In the early 19th century, speakers of English started using civilization to mean cities or populated areas in general—that is, places where civilizations are located. This word is applied as well to the comforts and conveniences associated with populated areas, so that today we might use civilization to describe what we have left behind if we go camping in the wilderness and have no cellphone coverage.
Examples from the Web for civilization
John Paul II told the European Union at the time that it was “a beacon of civilization.”
Instead, it would return European civilization back to a period of darkness not witnessed since the Middle Ages.
They pointed to a common claim: that at some point in distant history there was a civilization of giants.
Crawford leads them in plunging back into the river whose waters fed the first civilization.
Indeed, red — because of its vibrancy and richness — has served as a powerful symbol since the beginning of civilization.
The light of these days has driven the fiery dragon to take refuge among nations not yet visited by the light of civilization.The Curiosities of Heraldry|Mark Antony Lower
The imagination hardly keeps pace with the progress of population, improvement, and civilization.Select Speeches of Daniel Webster|Daniel Webster
The enormous crime of Spain in destroying this civilization has never yet been appreciated in Europe.History of the Intellectual Development of Europe, Volume II (of 2)|John William Draper
The monks kept alive that sweet spirit of philanthropy which is so essential to all the higher forms of civilization.A Short History of Monks and Monasteries|Alfred Wesley Wishart
The law of progress and civilization is not the law of the jungle.Have faith in Massachusetts; 2d ed.|Calvin Coolidge
British Dictionary definitions for civilization
Word Origin and History for civilization
1704, "law which makes a criminal process civil," from civilize + -ation. Sense of "civilized condition" first recorded 1772, probably from French civilisation, to be an opposite to barbarity and a distinct word from civility. Sense of a particular human society in a civilized condition, considered as a whole over time, is from 1857. Related: Civilizational.