cen·​te·​nar·​i·​an ˌsen-tə-ˈner-ē-ən How to pronounce centenarian (audio)
: one that is 100 years old or older
centenarian adjective

Did you know?

We can't say there are exactly 100 English words based on the Latin root centum, meaning "hundred," but there are certainly dozens. "Centenarian" isn't the oldest one; it only dates from the late 1700s. Far older is "centurion" (an ancient Roman military officer), which has been around since the 13th century. A younger "centum" offspring is "centisecond," a rare term for 1/100 of a second that dates from the 1950s. From colorful words such as "centicipitous" (which means "100-headed") to practical ones like "centgener" ("a device for planting 100 seeds"), "centum" descendants have enlivened our language for centuries.

Examples of centenarian in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Half of centenarians have a gene that taps the brakes on height and weight. Carly Mallenbaum, Axios, 11 July 2024 According to legend, 2000 years ago a doctor visited a village in China where centenarians abounded. Alessandra Signorelli, Vogue, 5 July 2024 The number of centenarians alive today, about 101,000, is nearly triple the number who were alive in 1990. Daniel De Visé, USA TODAY, 31 Mar. 2024 The afternoon of activities was one of many celebrations Levin's children, grandchildren and extended family had planned for their centenarian. Bridget Fogarty, Journal Sentinel, 14 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for centenarian 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'centenarian.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1747, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of centenarian was in 1747


Dictionary Entries Near centenarian

Cite this Entry

“Centenarian.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/centenarian. Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


cen·​te·​nar·​i·​an ˌsent-ᵊn-ˈer-ē-ən How to pronounce centenarian (audio)
: a person 100 years old or older
centenarian adjective

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