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Middle Ages

noun
1.
the time in European history between classical antiquity and the Italian Renaissance (from about 500 a.d. to about 1350): sometimes restricted to the later part of this period (after 1100) and sometimes extended to 1450 or 1500.
Origin
1715-1725
1715-25; plural of Middle Age, translation of Neo-Latin Medium Aevum

middle age

noun
1.
the period of human life between youth and old age, sometimes considered as the years between 45 and 65 or thereabout.
Origin
1350-1400; Middle English
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for Middle Ages

Middle Ages

noun (European history)
1.
(broadly) the period from the end of classical antiquity (or the deposition of the last W Roman emperor in 476 ad) to the Italian Renaissance (or the fall of Constantinople in 1453)
2.
(narrowly) the period from about 1000 ad to the 15th century Compare Dark Ages

middle age

noun
1.
the period of life between youth and old age, usually (in man) considered to occur approximately between the ages of 40 and 60
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
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Word Origin and History for Middle Ages
n.

"period between ancient and modern times" (formerly roughly 500-1500 C.E., now more usually 1000-1500), attested from 1610s, translating Latin medium aevum (cf. German mittelalter, French moyen âge).

middle age

n.

"period between youth and old age," late 14c.; middle-aged (adj.) first recorded c.1600.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Middle Ages in Medicine

middle age mid·dle age (mĭd'l)
n.
The time of human life between youth and old age, usually reckoned as the years between 40 and 60. Also called midlife.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Middle Ages in Culture

Middle Ages definition


The period of European history between ancient and modern times. The Middle Ages began with the Fall of Rome in the fifth century and ended with the Renaissance. The Middle Ages are associated with many beliefs and practices that now seem out of date, such as chivalry, feudalism, the Inquisition, the belief that the sun revolves around the Earth, and a host of popular superstitions. The early Middle Ages are even sometimes called the Dark Ages. The Middle Ages, however, especially in later years, also saw many notable human achievements. Among these were the building of modern nations, such as England and France; increasingly sophisticated and expanded trade; a great advancement of technique in philosophy and theology; some remarkable works of literature (see The Canterbury Tales, The Divine Comedy); and the building of magnificent churches (see Chartres and Notre Dame de Paris).

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Encyclopedia Article for Middle Ages

middle age

period of human adulthood that immediately precedes the onset of old age. Though the age period that defines middle age is somewhat arbitrary, differing greatly from person to person, it is generally defined as being between the ages of 40 and 60. The physiological and psychological changes experienced by a middle-aged person centre on the gradual decline of physical abilities and the awareness of mortality. In middle age, the relative potencies of past, present, and future are altered as the individual increasingly directs effort to the process of reminiscence and recollection of the past, rather than anticipation of the future. If approached constructively, middle age can prepare an individual for a satisfying and productive old age. See also psychological development.

Learn more about middle age with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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