Part of speech: noun
Origin: French, late 18th century
A person's social environment.
Examples of Milieu in a sentence
"The mark of a good sci-fi novel is an elaborate milieu which the characters inhabit. "
"The milieu of the neighborhood changed after the mega grocery store opened. "
In French, "milieu" means "middle," or, as in English, the setting or environment. There's also a French phrase, "au milieu de," which means "in the middle of."
Did you Know?
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 since expanded to describe one's general neighborhood and environmental surroundings, not just their social standing.