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1630s, from Modern Latin millennium, from Latin mille "thousand" (see million) + annus "year" (see annual); formed on analogy of biennium, triennium, etc. For vowel change, see biennial. First in English in sense of "1,000-year period of Christ's anticipated rule on Earth" (Rev. xx:1-5). Sense of "any 1,000-year period" first recorded 1711. Meaning "the year 2000" attested from 1970.
A period of a thousand years foretold in the Book of Revelation. During the millennium, those who have been faithful to Jesus and who have not worshiped the Antichrist will reign with Jesus over the Earth. According to the Book of Revelation, the millennium will precede the final battle for control of the universe; Judgment Day will come afterward.
Note: The meaning of the Bible's words about the millennium has been much debated by Christians. Prophecies about the millennium are part of the basic doctrine of several denominations, including Jehovah's Witnesses.
Note: Figuratively, a “millennium” is a period of great justice and happiness on Earth.
a thousand years; the name given to the era mentioned in Rev. 20:1-7. Some maintain that Christ will personally appear on earth for the purpose of establishing his kingdom at the beginning of this millennium. Those holding this view are usually called "millenarians." On the other hand, it is maintained, more in accordance with the teaching of Scripture, we think, that Christ's second advent will not be premillennial, and that the right conception of the prospects and destiny of his kingdom is that which is taught, e.g., in the parables of the leaven and the mustard-seed. The triumph of the gospel, it is held, must be looked for by the wider and more efficient operation of the very forces that are now at work in extending the gospel; and that Christ will only come again at the close of this dispensation to judge the world at the "last day." The millennium will thus precede his coming.
No sooner had people planning their 1999 New Year's Eve celebrations referred to Jan. 1, 2000, as ushering in the 3rd millennium than someone declaimed that the new millennium would not really begin until Jan. 1, 2001. The Gregorian calendar, put forth in 1582 and subsequently adopted by most countries, did not include a year 0 in the transition from BC (the years before Christ) to AD (those since his birth). Thus, the 1st millennium ran from year 1 through 1000, and the 2nd began in 1001 and would end on Dec. 31, 2000-not 1999. Those opting for 2000 as the beginning of the new millennium were not to be put off, however. For them, it was enough that the first digit in the year was changing and that the year was a multiple of 1,000. Computers facing problems caused by the use of a two-digit space for the year in their programs-and the possibility that when those two digits began again at 00 the computer might be unable to tell which century was being referred to-were said to be endangered by the Millennium Bug. The terms new millennium and next millennium in reference to the year 2000 were ubiquitous in the media.