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. 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
    past
    earlier than the present time; no longer current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
    nonmodern
    not modern; of or characteristic of an earlier time
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$19.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$19.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week