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milieu

[mil-yoo , meel-; French mee-lyœ] /mɪlˈyʊ, mil-; French miˈlyœ/
noun, plural milieus French, milieux
[mee-lyœ] /miˈlyœ/ (Show IPA)
1.
surroundings, especially of a social or cultural nature:
a snobbish milieu.
Origin
1795-1805
1795-1805; < French, equivalent to mi (< Latin medius middle; see medium) + lieu lieu
Synonyms
background, sphere, setting. See environment.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for milieu
  • Beyond the artistic milieu, however, only limited runs of wedding invitations or exorbitantly priced books could justify the cost.
  • The spacetime milieu is frozen in all universes.
  • This, he notes, creates a need for both identification and verification of trust in what is generally an untrustworthy milieu.
  • Such ties tend to weaken or disappear in the urban milieu.
  • He knew that I knew the background and milieu that he came out of.
  • His lyrical gift had pushed him out of the milieu that moved him to verse.
  • We are all to blame: It's a broad social failure, a cultural milieu that backfired, big time.
  • She renders accessible the facts of Wright's life and earnestly attempts to reconstruct his milieu.
  • As these works attest, even as part of a milieu, Pollock had a daring of his own.
  • Their milieu is of political and legal relations.
British Dictionary definitions for milieu

milieu

/ˈmiːljɜː; French miljø/
noun (pl) -lieux (-ljɜː; -ljɜːz; French) (-ljø) -lieus
1.
surroundings, location, or setting
Word Origin
C19: from French, from mi-mid1 + lieu place
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 milieu
n.

"surroundings," 1877, from French milieu, "middle, medium, mean," literally "middle place" (12c.), from mi "middle" (from Latin medius; see medial (adj.)) + lieu "place" (see lieu).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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milieu in Medicine

milieu mi·lieu (mĭl-yu', mēl-yɶ')
n. pl. mi·lieus or mi·lieux (-lyɶ')

  1. The totality of one's surroundings; an environment.

  2. The social setting of a mental patient.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for milieu

according to the French critic Hippolyte Taine, the three principal motives or conditioning factors behind any work of art. Taine sought to establish a scientific approach to literature through the investigation of what created the individual who created the work of art.

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