me·die·val also me·diae·val (mĭ-dēvəl; mĕd′ē-ēvəl, mē′dē-)
1. also Medieval
a. Relating or belonging to the Middle Ages.
b. Of or relating to a historical period roughly coinciding with the European Middle Ages and characterized by feudal or aristocratic social structures, as in Japan or China.
a. Suggestive of the Middle Ages, as in being hierarchical or cruel.
b. Informal Old-fashioned; unenlightened: parents with a medieval attitude toward dating.
[From New Latin medium aevum, the middle age : Latin , neuter of medius, middle; see medhyo- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots + Latin aevum, age; see aiw- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
The American Heritage Dictionary Blog
Check out our blog, updated regularly, for new words and revised definitions, interesting images from the 5th edition, discussions of usage, and more.