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The Complete Vocabulary Builder Workbook



How to pronounce medieval (audio)

Dictionary definition of medieval

Pertaining to or is characteristic of the Middle Ages, a historical period that lasted from the 5th to the 15th century in Europe.
"The troubadours entertained the court with their medieval music and poetry."

Detailed meaning of medieval

When used to describe something as "medieval," it suggests a connection to the culture, customs, or characteristics of that era. It often evokes images of knights, castles, feudalism, and the overall socio-political structure of the time. "Medieval" can also refer to the architectural, artistic, or literary styles prevalent during that period, featuring elements such as Gothic architecture, illuminated manuscripts, or epic chivalric tales. Additionally, the term can convey a sense of backwardness or outdatedness, indicating an antiquated or obsolete approach or mindset. Whether referencing the historical period, its cultural attributes, or employing it metaphorically, "medieval" encapsulates the essence of a distinct era characterized by its unique traditions, practices, and beliefs.

Example sentences containing medieval

1. The medieval castle stood atop the hill, a symbol of power and fortitude.
2. Knights in shining armor were prominent figures during the medieval period.
3. The medieval manuscript contained beautifully illuminated illustrations and calligraphy.
4. The medieval city walls offered protection against enemy invasions.
5. Medieval society was characterized by a rigid feudal system with lords and vassals.
6. The medieval cathedral showcased intricate Gothic architecture and soaring spires.

History and etymology of medieval

The adjective 'medieval' is intimately connected to the historical period it describes, the Middle Ages, which spanned from the 5th to the 15th century in Europe. Its etymology can be traced to the Latin term 'medium aevum,' where 'medium' means 'middle' and 'aevum' refers to 'age' or 'era.' The Middle Ages was considered a transitional period that came between the Classical era of antiquity and the Renaissance, and it was characterized by significant social, cultural, and political developments. The term 'medieval' emerged in the 19th century to capture the essence of this historical epoch and is used today to refer to anything pertaining to or characteristic of the Middle Ages, reflecting its etymological roots in the concept of a middle or intermediate period of history.

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Further usage examples of medieval

1. The medieval tapestry depicted scenes of heroic battles and mythical creatures.
2. The bubonic plague, also known as the Black Death, ravaged Europe during the medieval era.
3. Medieval medicine relied heavily on herbal remedies and bloodletting practices.
4. The medieval guilds served as important trade and artisan organizations.
5. Chivalry and honor were highly valued virtues in medieval knighthood.
6. The medieval castle's towering walls hinted at its storied past.
7. Medieval manuscripts offer insights into ancient knowledge.
8. The medieval plague known as the Black Death was devastating.
9. Medieval architecture often featured intricate stone carvings.
10. Medieval chivalry emphasized honor and noble conduct.
11. Medieval warfare relied on swords, shields, and archers.
12. Medieval literature included tales of knights and dragons.
13. Medieval towns bustled with merchants and craftsmen.
14. The medieval period saw the rise of feudalism.
15. Medieval cathedrals showcased stunning stained glass.
16. Medieval peasants toiled in the fields for meager wages.
17. The medieval court was a hub of political intrigue.
18. Medieval alchemy aimed to transmute base metals into gold.
19. Medieval heraldry used coats of arms for identification.
20. The medieval era marked the transition from darkness to light.
21. Medieval castles often had moats and drawbridges.
22. Medieval minstrels entertained with music and poetry.
23. The medieval manuscript was meticulously illuminated.
24. Medieval monarchs wielded both power and responsibility.
25. Medieval trade routes connected distant civilizations.



middle-aged, modern, contemporary, futuristic


SAT 16 (Scholastic Assessment Test), High School 6, History and Nostalgia

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