noun ep·och \ˈe-pək, ˈe-ˌpäk, US also & British usually ˈē-ˌpäk\

: a period of time that is very important in history

Full Definition of EPOCH

a :  an event or a time marked by an event that begins a new period or development
b :  a memorable event or date
a :  an extended period of time usually characterized by a distinctive development or by a memorable series of events
b :  a division of geologic time less than a period and greater than an age
:  an instant of time or a date selected as a point of reference (as in astronomy)

Examples of EPOCH

  1. The Civil War era was an epoch in 19th-century U.S. history.
  2. The development of the steam engine marked an important epoch in the history of industry.

Origin of EPOCH

Medieval Latin epocha, from Greek epochē cessation, fixed point, from epechein to pause, hold back, from epi- + echein to hold — more at scheme
First Known Use: 1614

Related to EPOCH

Synonym Discussion of EPOCH

period, epoch, era, age mean a division of time. period may designate an extent of time of any length <periods of economic prosperity>. epoch applies to a period begun or set off by some significant or striking quality, change, or series of events <the steam engine marked a new epoch in industry>. era suggests a period of history marked by a new or distinct order of things <the era of global communications>. age is used frequently of a fairly definite period dominated by a prominent figure or feature <the age of Samuel Johnson>.

Other Geology Terms

anthracite, boulder, cwm, erratic, igneous, intrusive, mesa, sedimentary, silt, swale
EPOCH Defined for Kids


noun ep·och \ˈe-pək\

Definition of EPOCH for Kids

:  a period that is important or memorable


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