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. adjective
    relating to or belonging to the Middle Ages
    Medieval scholars”
    Medieval times”
    synonyms: mediaeval
  2. adjective
    characteristic of the time of chivalry and knighthood in the Middle Ages
    synonyms: chivalric, knightly
    earlier than the present time; no longer current
  3. adjective
    as if belonging to the Middle Ages; old-fashioned and unenlightened
    “a medieval attitude toward dating”
    synonyms: gothic, mediaeval
    not modern; of or characteristic of an earlier time
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