from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. An advanced state of intellectual, cultural, and material development in human society, marked by progress in the arts and sciences, the extensive use of record-keeping, including writing, and the appearance of complex political and social institutions.
- n. The type of culture and society developed by a particular nation or region or in a particular epoch: Mayan civilization; the civilization of ancient Rome.
- n. The act or process of civilizing or reaching a civilized state.
- n. Cultural or intellectual refinement; good taste.
- n. Modern society with its conveniences: returned to civilization after camping in the mountains.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. An organized culture encompassing many communities, often on the scale of a nation or a people; a stage or system of social, political, or technical development.
- n. Human society, particularly civil society.
- n. The act or process of civilizing or becoming civilized.
- n. The state or quality of being civilized.
- n. The act of rendering a criminal process civil.
- proper 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 civilised, as savages or barbarians. cf refinement, elitism, civilised society, the Civilised World
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- n. The act of civilizing, or the state of being civilized; national culture; refinement.
- n. Rendering a criminal process civil.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The act of civilizing, or the state of being civilized; the state of being reclaimed from the rudeness of savage life, and advanced in arts and learning.
- n. The act of rendering a criminal process civil. Also spelled civilisation.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. the quality of excellence in thought and manners and taste
- n. a particular society at a particular time and place
- n. a society in an advanced state of social development (e.g., with complex legal and political and religious organizations)
- n. the social process whereby societies achieve an advanced stage of development and organization
I add further, _that slavery anticipates the benefits of civilization, and retards the evils of civilization_.
I prize highly the advantages of civilization, and the blessings of civil and religious liberty; but never shall a vote of mine be given to encourage unjust invasion and conquest on the pretext of pushing civilization, or to carry the Bible with the sword, so that rapacity may call its crimes the diffusion of Christianity.
The real cure for the evils of civilization would appear to be _more civilization_, or, better, perhaps, _higher_ civilization.
First off the term civilization involves a complex arrangement made by us, these social large brained apes.
The most important and the dearest phase of human experience must come, of course, through its religious beliefs, and as they are narrow and superstitious, on the one hand, or grand with faith and understanding of law, on the other, do we judge of the status of the individual, the community, and the race; and the advances made upon this line mark the progress of what we term civilization on this planet.
It was not to build a new civilization-our culture and our civilization is simply a transplanted culture and a transplanted civilization from the Old Country, and to us England means what it does to you.
And as culture is a threefold devotion to beauty, goodness, and truth, so the term civilization expresses the same threefold religion, shown on a larger scale in the characters, institutions, and customs of nations.
The meaning attached by many to the term civilization is extremely vague and indefinite, and it is certainly an intangible thing, which vanishes when individuals become isolated in a new region, where it does not exist.
Wilson Armistead, 1819?-1868. A Tribute for the Negro: Being a Vindication of the Moral, Intellectual, and Religious Capabilities of the Colored Portion of Mankind; with Particular Reference to the African Race.
Among academics, the word "civilization" has long had a sinister ring to it, carrying associations of elitism and luxury.
"I imagined it was going to be equally funny to watch them get back to what they call civilization."