[ ek-yoo-muh-nee ]

  1. the inhabited world; global civilization united by trade, modern culture, etc.: The older mosaic of separate cultures and societies is being replaced, creating an ecumene of interconnectedness.

  2. especially historically, the area inhabited, dominated, or known by a society or civilization, often the core as contrasted with outlying areas or colonies: In many dynastic periods the Chinese government imposed different policies in the frontier zones than in the ecumene.Ptolemy’s only mapmaking interest was in representing the Greek ecumene, or the known inhabited world.

  1. the worldwide community comprising adherents of all the diverse branches of a particular faith, especially Christianity: The blood of the martyrs, past and present, is a foundation for seeking the unity of the whole Christian ecumene.

  2. the inhabited area of a country or civilization, or the portion of it corresponding to a particular population, economic activity, ecozone, etc.: The Agricultural Ecumene census division includes areas of significant agricultural activity according to the last census.

Origin of ecumene

First recorded in 1800–10; from Late Latin oecumene, from Greek oikouménē; see ecumenical
  • Also especially British, oec·u·men·e .

Words Nearby ecumene Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023