What does civilization mean? civilization. Noun 1. An organized culture encompassing many communities, often on the scale of a nation or a people; a stage or system of social, political, or technical development. For example, the Aztec civilization 2. (uncountable) ; Human society, particularly civil society. For example, A hermit doesn’t much care for civilization. 3. The act or process of civilizing or becoming civilized. For example, The teacher’s civilization of the child was no easy task. 4. The state or quality of being civilized. For example, He was a man of great civilization. 5. (obsolete) ; The act of rendering a criminal process civil.