All Words > Milieu

Wednesday, February 5

Milieu

[meel-YOO]

Part of speech: noun

Origin: French, late 18th century

1.

A surrounding culture and environment

2.

The atmosphere or ambiance

Examples of Milieu in a sentence

"The mark of a good sci-fi novel is an elaborate milieu for the characters to inhabit. "

"The milieu of the neighborhood changed after the mega grocery store opened up. "

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About Milieu

With its French inspiration, milieu appears to be quite a sophisticated word. Its original usage was to describe one’s place in society — were you a member of the upper-crust milieu or were you working class? The definition has expanded to describe the general neighborhood and environmental surroundings, not just social standing.

Did you Know?

Milieu is a loan word, or a word taken from another language with no modification. In French, milieu means middle, or, just like in English, the setting or environment. There’s also a French phrase, “au milieu de,” which means “in the middle of.”

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