(1)   The quality of excellence in thought and manners and taste
"A man of intellectual refinement"
"He is remembered for his generosity and civilization"
(2)   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"
(3)   A particular society at a particular time and place
"Early Mayan civilization"
(4)   The social process whereby societies achieve civilization


From Latin , verbal noun of action from the perfect passive participle + suffix , from verb , from adjective , in turn from


  1. 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.
    the Aztec civilization
    Western civilization
    Modern civilization is a product of industrialization and globalization.
  2. Human society, particularly civil society.
    A hermit doesn't much care for civilization.
    I'm glad to be back in civilization after a day with that rowdy family.
  3. The act or process of civilizing or becoming civilized.
    The teacher's civilization of the child was no easy task.
  4. The state or quality of being civilized.
    He was a man of great civilization.
  5. The act of rendering a criminal process civil.


culture, order sphere education, acculturation home, the land of the living

Proper noun

  1. 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