Definition of New Age adjective from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


New Age

BrE BrE//ˌnjuː ˈeɪdʒ//
; NAmE NAmE//ˌnuː ˈeɪdʒ//
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connected with a way of life that rejects modern Western values and is based on spiritual ideas and beliefs, astrology, etc. a New Age festival New Age travellers (= people in Britain who reject the values of modern society and travel from place to place, living in their vehicles) Culturethe New AgePeople have often questioned the accepted philosophies of the modern western materialist society (= a society that cares a lot about money and possessions), and have looked to much older traditions for an increased spiritual awareness. Since the 1980s this movement, and the ideas behind it, have been given the name New Age. The movement started in California but quickly spread throughout the US and northern Europe. It attracts young people, people who were hippie s in the 1960s and 1970s, and some older people. New Age people believe that a more holistic approach to life, which takes account of the whole of personal experience and of the cycles of nature, can help to restore the spiritual balance within themselves and harmony in the environment.The New Age movement has been especially involved in religion, philosophy, medicine, and a broad area of study called earth mysteries which includes astrology (= the influence of the planets on people's lives) and people's relationship with the environment. Some people have turned to religions that combine elements of Christianity with the worship of nature, or to eastern religions, such as Buddhism, that emphasize the personal development of the individual. There has also been a fascination with the occult (= magic) and parapsychology, including telepathy, the mental communication of thoughts and feelings. In Britain, ancient sites are thought to have special powers. Each year, on Midsummer's Day, large crowds attempt to reach Stonehenge to celebrate the summer solstice (= the time when the sun is farthest north and highest in the sky), because they believe that it is one of the most magical places in Britain.Crystals (= pieces of special kinds of stone) are used for a type of healing. Meditation is used as a way to gain greater self-awareness. New Age music, which is usually soft and slow, is used to make it easier to meditate. Incense (= a special material that smells when it is burned) helps promote a good atmosphere. Some people use psychedelic drugs though they are illegal. New Age food is usually entirely natural. It includes health foods (= foods that contain nothing artificial and are thought to improve the health) and organic products (= fruit, vegetables and meat that have been produced without any chemicals). Many people associated with New Age culture are vegetarians (= people who choose not to eat any meat).The New Age interest in nature has led to greater concern for environmental issues among the wider public. New Age people are often involved in protests at the sites of new roads or other projects that threaten to destroy the countryside. They are often prepared to take extreme measures and may be regarded by others as cranks (= people obsessed with a particular idea), though they also gain respect for their commitment.

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