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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ It is quite another to attribute a sense of mechanical consciousness to ancient pre-industrial civilization.
▪ His philosophy is that we were seeded by an ancient civilization.
▪ Probably this text on the ancient civilization of Sumer would not be a good place to begin.
▪ Through this astounding revolution, she rediscovered her original pride and her dignity as a great civilization.
▪ The higher civilization ultimately can claim a higher right.
▪ The Beta stands on a much higher plane of civilization and is more developed.
▪ Britain would advance to a higher stage of civilization via favourable environment and sound heredity.
▪ The pattern of devaluing women's contribution is as old as human civilization.
▪ The effects of comet and asteroid impacts are potentially damaging to life in general, and to human civilization in particular.
▪ The expansion of human civilization into space is feasible because of the availability of vast asteroidal and planetary resources.
▪ I told them that we have dramatically transformed the relationship between human civilization and the earth.
▪ What we certainly can see is a tendency towards synthesis and dynamic development, a typical feature of Minoan civilization.
▪ It may have wiped out the Minoan civilization in Crete.
▪ As modern civilization spreads, population increases become more manageable.
▪ Energy is the primary requirement of modern civilization.
▪ On the outcome of the race between man and power depends the future of modern civilization.
▪ Our modern civilization has convinced itself that the morality and conventions of civilization are somehow basic reality.
▪ Only after the last ice age did modern civilization, such as it is, evolve.
▪ In its new sense, civilization meant broadly the opposite of barbarism.
▪ Britain stood for political ideals that must prevail if western civilization were not to break down.
▪ Truman, Harriman, and others viewed the United States as the chief defender of Western civilization.
▪ Such a state tends to be rare in contemporary western civilization.
▪ By accepting it, the world is not taking on Western civilization lock, stock and barrel: far from it.
▪ The blight of western civilization has been to divorce our thought from our emotions.
▪ Historically, they are rooted in the values of Western civilization.
▪ Sanders is merely the athlete who best defines the decline of Western civilization.
the dawn of civilization/time etc
▪ Once, long ago, at the dawn of time, he had persuaded man to disobey in a garden.
▪ Since the dawn of time, roughly a hundred billion human beings have walked the planet Earth.
▪ Our century has seen greater climate changes than any period since the dawn of civilization.
▪ But there is a sense in which religion is no less essential to civilization than literature and the fine arts.
▪ Called to attend at 10.15 in the morning, we started in the time-honoured way of civilization with a coffee break.
▪ He just came in and destroyed this really high civilization and then left.
▪ Much of the hostility towards civilization felt by people in the suppressed classes is understandable.
▪ Once humans had invented civilization, they never lost it.
▪ There was nothing down there on the earth-no towns, no light, no signs of civilization at all.
▪ To see them clearly one has to withdraw, mentally at least, from the civilization of which one is a part.
▪ When the time came for civilization on the planet of the Perks, they built war-trains, undermining engines, mole bombs.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Civilization \Civ`i*li*za"tion\, n. [Cf. F. civilisation.]

  1. The act of civilizing, or the state of being civilized; national culture; refinement.

    Our manners, our civilization, and all the good things connected with manners, and with civilization, have, in this European world of ours, depended for ages upon two principles -- . . . the spirit of a gentleman, and spirit of religion.

  2. (Law) Rendering a criminal process civil. [Obs.]

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

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.


n. 1 An organized culture encompassing many community, often on the scale of a nation or a people; a stage or system of social, political(,) or technical development. 2 (context uncountable English) Human society, particularly civil society. 3 The act or process of civilize or becoming civilize. 4 The state or quality of being civilized. 5 (context obsolete English) The act of rendering a criminal process civil. n. Collectively, those people of the world considered to have a high standard of behavior and / or a high level of development. Commonly subjectively used by people of one society to exclusively refer to their society, or their elite sub-group, or a few associated societies, implying all others, in time or geography or status, as something less than civilise, as savage or barbarian. ''cf refinement, elitism, civilised society, the Civilised World''

  1. n. a society in an advanced state of social development (e.g., with complex legal and political and religious organizations); "the people slowly progressed from barbarism to civilization" [syn: civilisation]

  2. the social process whereby societies achieve civilization [syn: civilisation]

  3. a particular society at a particular time and place; "early Mayan civilization" [syn: culture, civilisation]

  4. the quality of excellence in thought and manners and taste; "a man of intellectual refinement"; "he is remembered for his generosity and civilization" [syn: refinement, civilisation]


A civilization ( US) or civilisation ( UK) is any complex society characterized by urban development, social stratification, symbolic communication forms (typically, writing systems), and a perceived separation from and domination over the natural environment by a cultural elite. Civilizations are intimately associated with and often further defined by other socio-politico-economic characteristics, including centralization, the domestication of both humans and other organisms, specialization of labor, culturally ingrained ideologies of progress and supremacism, monumental architecture, taxation, societal dependence upon farming as an agricultural practice, and expansionism.

Historically, a civilization was a so-called "advanced" culture in contrast to more supposedly primitive cultures. In this broad sense, a civilization contrasts with non-centralized tribal societies, including the cultures of nomadic pastoralists, egalitarian horticultural subsistence neolithic societies or hunter-gatherers. As an uncountable noun, civilization also refers to the process of a society developing into a centralized, urbanized, stratified structure.

Civilizations are organized in densely populated settlements divided into hierarchical social classes with a ruling elite and subordinate urban and rural populations, which engage in intensive agriculture, mining, small-scale manufacture and trade. Civilization concentrates power, extending human control over the rest of nature, including over other human beings.

The earliest emergence of civilizations is generally associated with the final stages of the Neolithic Revolution, culminating in the relatively rapid process of urban revolution and state formation, a political development associated with the appearance of a governing elite. The earlier neolithic technology and lifestyle was established first in the Middle East (for example at Göbekli Tepe, from about 9,130 BCE), and later in the Yangtze and Yellow River basins in China (for example the Pengtoushan culture from 7,500 BCE), and later spread. Similar pre-civilised "neolithic revolutions" also began independently from 7,000 BCE in such places as northwestern South America (the Norte Chico civilization) and Mesoamerica. These were among the six civilizations worldwide that arose independently. Mesopotamia is the site of the earliest developments of the Neolithic Revolution from around 10,000 BCE, with civilisations developing from 6,500 years ago. This area has been identified as having "inspired some of the most important developments in human history including the invention of the wheel, the development of cursive script, mathematics, astronomy and agriculture."

The civilised urban revolution in turn was dependent upon the development of sedentarism, the domestication of grains and animals and the development lifestyles which allowed economies of scale and the accumulation of surplus production by certain social sectors. The transition from "complex cultures" to "civilisations", while still disputed, seems to be associated with the development of state structures, in which power was further monopolised by an elite ruling class who practiced human sacrifice.

Towards the end of the Neolithic period, various elitist Chalcolithic civilizations began to rise in various "cradles" from around 3300 BCE. Chalcolithic civilizations, as defined above, also developed in Pre-Columbian Americas and, despite an early start in Egypt, Axum and Kush, much later in Iron Age sub-Saharan Africa. The Bronze Age collapse was followed by the Iron Age around 1200 BCE, during which a number of new civilizations emerged, culminating in the Axial Age transition to Classical civilization. A major technological and cultural transition to modernity began approximately 1500 CE in Western Europe, and from this beginning new approaches to science and law spread rapidly around the world, incorporating earlier cultures into the industrial and technological civilisation of the present.

Civilization (disambiguation)

Civilization (or civilisation) is an advanced stage of human social development and organization.

Civilization may also refer to:

Civilization (album)

Civilization is an album by Vancouver industrial band Front Line Assembly, released in 2004. The album was produced by band founder Bill Leeb and returning member Rhys Fulber who had departed in 1996. Civilization has been described by reviewers as being a more stylistically diverse and relaxed album especially when compared to one of the band's previous releases, Millennium.

Civilization (1947 song)

"Civilization" is an American pop song. It was written by Bob Hilliard and Carl Sigman, published in 1947 later included in the 1947 Broadway musical Angel in the Wings, sung by Elaine Stritch. The song is sometimes also known as "Bongo, Bongo, Bongo (I Don't Want to Leave the Congo)" from its first line of the chorus. The sheet music gives the title as "Civilization (Bongo, Bongo, Bongo)".

Civilization (video game)

Sid Meier's Civilization is a turn-based " 4X"-type strategy video game created by Sid Meier and Bruce Shelley for MicroProse in 1991. The game's objective is to "Build an empire to stand the test of time": it begins in 4000 BC and the players attempt to expand and develop their empires through the ages from the ancient era until modern and near-future times. It is also known simply as Civilization, Civilization I, or abbreviated to Civ or Civ I.

Civilization was originally developed for DOS running on a PC. It has undergone numerous revisions for various platforms (including Windows, Macintosh, Amiga, Atari ST, PlayStation, N-Gage and Super NES) and now exists in several versions. A multiplayer remake, Sid Meier's CivNet was released for the PC in 1995. The N-Gage version was the last game released for the system in North America.

Civilization (film)

Civilization is a 1916 American pacifist allegorical drama film produced by Thomas H. Ince, written by C. Gardner Sullivan, and directed by Ince, Reginald Barker and Raymond B. West. The story involves a submarine commander who refuses to fire at a civilian ocean liner supposedly carrying ammunition for his country's enemies. The film was a big-budget spectacle that was compared to both Birth of a Nation and the paintings of Jean-François Millet. The film was a popular success and was credited by the Democratic National Committee with helping to re-elect Woodrow Wilson as the U.S. President in 1916. The film was also one of the first to depict Jesus Christ as a character in a motion picture, leading some to criticize the depiction as in "poor taste."

Civilization is sometimes viewed as one of the first anti-war films. In 1999, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Civilization (1980 board game)

Civilization is a board game designed by Francis Tresham, published in the United Kingdom in 1980 by Hartland Trefoil (later by Gibsons Games), and in the US in 1981 by Avalon Hill. The game typically takes eight or more hours to play and is for two to seven players. The Civilization brand is now owned by Hasbro, but it is no longer published in the US.

Civilization introduced the use of the technology tree (or "tech tree"), variants of which have been implemented in numerous later board and video games.

Civilization (Star Trek: Enterprise)

"Civilization" is the ninth episode (production #109) of the television series Star Trek: Enterprise, and was written by Phyllis Strong and Michael Sussman. Mike Vejar served as director for the episode. TrekToday gave the episode a positive review.

Enterprise investigates a pre-industrial civilization of about 500 million people. They discover that there is another warp-capable species among the unsuspecting inhabitants. After Captain Archer, Commander Tucker, Ensign Sato, and Sub-Commander T'Pol arrive, they discover a local scientist who believes a local merchant is causing the sickness in the town.

Civilization (series)

Civilization is a series of turn-based strategy, 4X video games, many of them produced by Sid Meier (Sid Meier's Civilization). There are also several traditional (board) Civilization games.

All titles in the series share similar gameplay, centered on building a civilization on a macro-scale from prehistory up to the near future. Each turn allows the player to move his or her units on the map, build or improve new cities and units, and initiate negotiations with the computer-controlled players. In between turns, computer players can do the same. The player will also choose technologies to research. These reflect the cultural, intellectual, and technical sophistication of the civilization, and usually allow the player to build new units or to improve their cities with new structures. In most games in the series, one may win by military conquest, achieving a certain level of culture, building an interstellar space ship, or achieving the highest score, among other means.

Over the years part of the crew involved in developing the series became successful in producing their own strategy games, such as Bruce Shelley ( Civilization I co-designer) of Age of Empires fame, Brian Reynolds ( Civilization II lead designer and programmer) who went on to create Rise of Nations, and more recently Soren Johnson ( Civilization III co-designer and Civilization IV lead designer and programmer with Spore).

As of February 2016, the series has reached 33 million total units shipped.

Civilization (2002 board game)

Sid Meier's Civilization: The Boardgame is a 2002 board game created by Glenn Drover based on the Civilization series of video games, in particular, Civilization III. Drover himself was a sales manager at Microprose during the original development of Civilization, though he was not directly involved in the creation of the video game.

Sid Meier's Civilization: The Boardgame bears no relation to the Avalon Hill board game of similar name, though the video game series was alleged to have been based on the Avalon Hill game. Sid Meier's Civilization: The Boardgame was published by Eagle Games, but is now considered out-of-print. Up to six players may play, with each player playing as one of six great civilizations.

Sid Meier's Civilization: The Boardgame may be used with either of two different rulesets: the simpler "standard rules" or the "advanced rules", the latter employing more elements taken from the video games.

A further game based on the Civilization series, Civilization: The Board Game, was released in 2010 by Fantasy Flight Games.

Civilization (Justice song)

"Civilization" is a single by the French band Justice and the first from their second studio album Audio, Video, Disco. The single, Justice's first via Elektra Records, was initially set to be released on iTunes on 4 April 2011, before becoming available on other digital retailers on April 11. The track was released early through iTunes France on 28 March and globally through iTunes on 29 March 2011.

The track features vocals from British singer Ali Love. The song was previewed in a two-minute advertisement for Adidas, which was directed by Romain Gavras. Gavras has worked with Justice previously, directing the music video for their song "Stress" in 2008, and filming a documentary 'A Cross In The Universe' about Justice's American tour in 2008. The single was re-released on 6 June with remixes from Mr. Oizo and The Fucking Champs.

Civilization (2010 board game)

Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game is a 2010 board game created by Kevin Wilson based on the Sid Meier's Civilization series of video games and published by Fantasy Flight Games. While the previous board game based on Sid Meier's Civilization, published by Eagle Games in 2002, was based on Civilization III, the 2010 version takes its primary inspiration from Civilization IV. Its expansions, Fame and Fortune and Wisdom and Warfare, also began to incorporate concepts derived from Civilization V.

Civilization (novel)

Civilization, and Its Part in My Downfall is a novel by Canadian writer Paul Quarrington, published in 1994 by Random House Canada.

Set during the early days of the film industry in Hollywood, the novel centres on Thom Moss, a onetime silent film star who is now in prison and is writing his personal account of his rise and fall. Characters who play a role in his story include J.D.D. Jensen, a Western fiction author who first introduces him to the film industry; Caspar Willison, a D. W. Griffith-like film director who first makes Moss a star but ultimately destroys him by refusing to give him a role in the planned epic film Civilization; Jefferson Foote, Willison's one-armed screenwriter and Moss's best friend in the industry; and Thespa Doone, Moss's frequent costar and love interest.

Although favourably reviewed by critics, the novel sold poorly, which pushed Quarrington to concentrate more actively on film and television writing.

Usage examples of "civilization".

If he smoked too many cigarettes and drank too much absinth it was because he took civilization as he found it, and did the things that he found his civilized brothers doing.

Between the ships and the blue and white planet curved a vast section of the broken accelerator ring, a section so huge that it was impossible to tell from close up that it was a mere fragment of what had once been the greatest monument of interstellar civilization.

Their substitutes for adaptability can sustain them only in the limited enclaves of civilization, not in the wide open spaces of the desert, or in the terrifying futures Paul opens himself to in his visions.

He, I know--for the question had been discussed among us long before the Time Machine was made--thought but cheerlessly of the Advancement of Mankind, and saw in the growing pile of civilization only a foolish heaping that must inevitably fall back upon and destroy its makers in the end.

The relative decline in politico-economic influence of the Northern Hemisphere during the later twentieth century, the shift of civilized dominance to a Southeast Asia-Indian Ocean region with more resources, did not, as alarmists at the time predicted, spell the end of Western civilization.

And, yes, we do help Om to give allas to the civilizations we discover.

Some of these, such as the rise of the Altiplano from the floor of the ocean, certainly took place in remote geological ages, before the advent of human civilization.

The turning point to Civilization was marked by Napoleon, the herald of absolute war and politics, but this tradition continued so strong that in the French War against Prussia, 1870-1871, victorious Prussia still did not think of annihilating the totally defeated foe, nor of subjecting it to an endless military occupation, but contented itself with reincorporating two provinces and imposing an indemnity which was paid off in a few years.

And while such a devolution of the global civilization, were it possible, might conceivably address the problem of self-inflicted technological catastrophe, it would also leave us defenseless against eventual asteroidal and cometary impacts.

Lumbee now confronted the realization that Relkin and Bazil came from a civilization of an order beyond that of anything she knew or understood.

In his opinion, Belamy, Montana, was about as far from civilization as he ever wanted to be.

I was saying to the Bibliomaniac this morning, your buckwheat cakes are, to my mind, the very highest development of our modern civilization, and to have even one of them wasted seems to me to be a crime against Nature herself, for which a second, third, or fourth shaking up of this earth would be an inadequate punishment.

At the southernmost end of the silt basins, a peninsula extended from the narrow band of land that separated the basins from the Sea of Silt, and at the tip of that peninsula, far removed from civilization, lay the ruins of Bodach, the city of the undead.

The boson that we connected to was a remnant from when they had lived on that planet, raised their children, built their civilization.

Blade was reminded of the byssus shell, which provided a similar luxury fabric for the civilizations of the ancient Mediterranean.