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middle age

the period of human life between youth and old age, sometimes considered as the years between 45 and 65 or thereabout.
Origin of middle age
1350-1400; Middle English

Middle Ages

plural noun
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.
1715-25; plural of Middle Age, translation of New Latin Medium Aevum Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for middle-ages
Historical Examples
  • Robert was a man of the middle-ages, Adrien a man of to-day.

    An Historical Mystery Honore de Balzac
  • The middle-ages had used wood for the few bits of necessary machinery.

    The Story of Mankind Hendrik Van Loon
  • The corporations and the Hanse leagues of the middle-ages, to which we shall some day return, are still impossible.

  • "The fact is that the Florentine of the middle-ages has reappeared in our century," said the countess.

    Paz Honore de Balzac
  • Besides, the middle-ages were not at all interested in producing large quantities of goods.

    The Story of Mankind Hendrik Van Loon
  • Certainly, the existence of such old ruins of the middle-ages is incompatible with the grandeurs of modern Paris.

    Catherine de' Medici Honore de Balzac
British Dictionary definitions for middle-ages

middle age

the period of life between youth and old age, usually (in man) considered to occur approximately between the ages of 40 and 60

Middle Ages

noun (European history)
(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)
(narrowly) the period from about 1000 ad to the 15th century Compare Dark Ages
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

Middle Ages


"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


"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)
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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