milieu

[mil-yoo, meel-; French mee-lyœ]
noun, plural milieus French, milieux [mee-lyœ] .
surroundings, especially of a social or cultural nature: a snobbish milieu.

Origin:
1795–1805; < French, equivalent to mi (< Latin medius middle; see medium) + lieu lieu


background, sphere, setting. See environment.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
milieu (ˈmiːljɜː, French miljø)
 
n , pl -lieux, -lieus
surroundings, location, or setting
 
[C19: from French, from mi-mid1 + lieu place]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

milieu
"surroundings," 1877, from Fr., "middle, medium, mean," lit. "middle place," from mi "middle" + lieu "place" (see lieu).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

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 Britannica
Encyclopedia

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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Example sentences
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.
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