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milieu mi·lieu (mĭl-yu', mēl-yɶ')
n. pl. mi·lieus or mi·lieux (-lyɶ')
The totality of one's surroundings; an environment.
The social setting of a mental patient.
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.