[vik-tawr-ee-uhn, -tohr-]
  1. of or relating to Queen Victoria or the period of her reign: Victorian poets.
  2. having the characteristics usually attributed to the Victorians, especially prudishness and observance of the conventionalities.
  3. Architecture.
    1. noting or pertaining to the architecture, furnishings, and decoration of English-speaking countries between c1840 and c1900, characterized by rapid changes of style as a consequence of aesthetic and philosophical controversy, technological innovations, and changes of fashion, by the frequent presence of ostentatious ornament, and by an overall trend from classicism at the start to romanticism and eclecticism at the middle of the period and thence to classicism again, with attempts at stylistic innovation occurring from time to time.
    2. noting or pertaining to the massive, elaborate work characteristic especially of the period c1855–80, derived mainly from the Baroque and Gothic styles and characterized by the presence of heavy carved ornament, elaborate moldings, etc., by the use of strong and generally dark colors, by the frequent use of dark varnished woodwork, by the emphasis on geometrical form rather than on textural effects, and frequently by an effect of harshness.
  1. a person who lived during the Victorian period.
  2. a house in or imitative of the Victorian style.

Origin of Victorian

First recorded in 1870–75; Victori(a) + -an
Related formspost-Vic·to·ri·an, adjectivepre-Vic·to·ri·an, adjectivepseu·do-Vic·to·ri·an, adjective, nounun-Vic·to·ri·an, adjective

Synonyms for Victorian

2. prudish, conventional, priggish, straightlaced, smug, prim, narrow. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for victorian

Contemporary Examples of victorian

Historical Examples of victorian

British Dictionary definitions for victorian


  1. of, relating to, or characteristic of Queen Victoria or the period of her reign
  2. exhibiting the characteristics popularly attributed to the Victorians, esp prudery, bigotry, or hypocrisyCompare Victorian values
  3. denoting, relating to, or having the style of architecture used in Britain during the reign of Queen Victoria, characterized by massive construction and elaborate ornamentation
  4. of or relating to Victoria (the state or any of the cities)
  1. a person who lived during the reign of Queen Victoria
  2. an inhabitant of Victoria (the state or any of the cities)
Derived FormsVictorianism, noun
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 victorian



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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

victorian in Culture


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.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.