Definition of milieu in English:


Pronunciation /ˈmiːljəː//mɪˈljəː/

nounPlural milieus, Plural milieux

  • A person's social environment.

    ‘Gregory came from the same aristocratic milieu as Sidonius’
    • ‘He begins with the fact that religion is the source of considerable social conflict, much of which involves how ‘religion’ is to be defined in different social milieux.’
    • ‘Is it possible that there are social circumstances and milieus that are uninspiring by their very nature?’
    • ‘But his eclecticism has seemed a weakness, a tendency perhaps to adapt to stronger personalities, including some of his leading performers, and various social milieus.’
    • ‘All the while, people ignore how these movies are about very small human stories and they're always confined by and constrained by the social milieux where they take place.’
    • ‘Merton and Barber reveal social milieus to be productive or receptive to the concept.’
    • ‘But I was only able to do this because of contacts I have in my milieu of academic sociology.’
    • ‘The story is set brilliantly in the context of ever changing social and scientific milieus, which often gave rise to controversy, some of which continues to this day.’
    • ‘It is a fascinating read and an essential source for anyone researching early steamboats and their social milieu.’
    • ‘Against this, however, stood the successful isolation of the political resistance organizations and the overwhelmingly closed nature of the different social milieux inherited from the Weimar period.’
    • ‘Does the research help members to arrive at a better understanding of their social milieu?’
    • ‘The social milieu upon which they have up to now been based is deeply divided.’
    • ‘The social milieus they provided in the household were shared by their daughters and very much valued.’
    • ‘Instead Schodt recreates the social and cultural milieus that surrounded MacDonald at various stages of his life.’
    • ‘Compared to other studies, McDonagh succeeds in giving the reader a much better sense of the general anxieties that permeated the cultural and social milieus of her many commentators.’
    • ‘Fourth, the promise of superior performance is not made to atomistic individuals, but to real people in real social and political milieus.’
    • ‘Modern sociologists have tended to focus on the full range of social milieus that make up German society and on the various kinds of consumer behavior that characterize each milieu.’
    • ‘Alcoholism is so widespread here that it has a spiralling effect on the social milieu of the State.’
    • ‘Specifically, negative social milieus and socialization severely limit the possibilities of achieving preventive success.’
    • ‘The actors themselves are firmly located in contemporary Rome: the vivid specificity of the social milieux is sometimes more reminiscent of satire than of earlier elegy.’
    • ‘Joyce used his own life and the social milieu of Dublin through which he took an imaginary walk every day of his exiled life.’
    environment, background, backdrop, setting, context, atmosphere, scene
    View synonyms


Mid 19th century: French, from mi ‘mid’ + lieu ‘place’.