medieval

Use the adjective medieval to describe something from the Middle Ages, or something so backwards that it might as well be from the Middle Ages. A teacher once rapped your knuckles with a ruler as punishment? That’s practically medieval!

Medieval can also have positive connotations, since the Middle Ages are remembered as a time of knights and courtly love, when chivalry and honor were highly valued. If a guy doesn’t mind getting his feet wet lifting his girlfriend over a big puddle, that’s medieval in a nice way. However, if he then dies of the bubonic plague, that’s medieval in a less nice way.

Definitions of medieval
1

adj relating to or belonging to the Middle Ages

Medieval scholars”
Medieval times”
Synonyms:
mediaeval

adj characteristic of the time of chivalry and knighthood in the Middle Ages

Synonyms:
chivalric, knightly
past
earlier than the present time; no longer current

adj as if belonging to the Middle Ages; old-fashioned and unenlightened

“a medieval attitude toward dating”
Synonyms:
gothic, mediaeval
nonmodern
not modern; of or characteristic of an earlier time

Sign up, it's free!

Whether you're a student, an educator, or a lifelong learner, Vocabulary.com can put you on the path to systematic vocabulary improvement.