[mil-yoo, meel-; French mee-lyœ]

noun, plural mi·lieus, French mi·lieux [mee-lyœ] /miˈlyœ/.

surroundings, especially of a social or cultural nature: a snobbish milieu.

Origin of milieu

1795–1805; < French, equivalent to mi (< Latin medius middle; see medium) + lieu lieu

Synonyms for milieu Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for milieu

Contemporary Examples of milieu

Historical Examples of milieu

  • And it seemed that in this milieu the virtue of being amusing outweighed all vices.


    Louis Joseph Vance

  • In a milieu removed from care and trivialities I will continue my poem.

  • Nor was it likely for her to do so considering the milieu in which she lived, in which she was obliged to live.


    Maurice Baring

  • Impressionism is Realism widened by the study of the milieu.

  • This phrase, foreign to Bburs diction, smacks of a Court-Persian milieu.

    The Bbur-nma in English

    Babur, Emperor of Hindustan

British Dictionary definitions for milieu


noun plural -lieux (-ljɜː, -ljɜːz, French -ljø) or -lieus

surroundings, location, or setting

Word Origin for milieu

C19: from French, from mi- mid 1 + lieu place
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

Word Origin and History for milieu

"surroundings," 1877, from French milieu, "middle, medium, mean," literally "middle place" (12c.), from mi "middle" (from Latin medius; see medial (adj.)) + lieu "place" (see lieu).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for milieu


[mĭl-yu, mēl-yœ]

n. pl. mi•lieus

The totality of one's surroundings; an environment.
The social setting of a mental patient.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.