cen·​te·​nar·​i·​an | \ ˌsen-tə-ˈner-ē-ən How to pronounce centenarian (audio) , -ˈne-rē-\

Definition of centenarian

: one that is 100 years old or older

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Other Words from centenarian

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

People Without Children’ Spurs Online Debate Signore is not the only centenarian who’s offered advice for a long life relating to staying single. Rachel Desantis, PEOPLE.com, "New York City Woman Turns 107: 'The Secret' Is 'I Never Got Married'," 1 Aug. 2019 The Japanese island of Okinawa boasts the highest life expectancy, and the greatest concentration of centenarians (people who live to 100), in the world. Josh Linkner, Detroit Free Press, "What business leaders can learn from 100-year-olds in Okinawa," 29 June 2019 The near-centenarian reportedly requested to pull the handle that released the giant American flag himself. Matt Mcnulty, PEOPLE.com, "'Woo-Hoo!' D-Day Vet, 97, Parachutes Over Normandy 75 years Later: I 'Represent' a 'Generation'," 5 June 2019 Recent studies have shown improvements in health as measured by Activities of Daily Living (ADL)—the basic tasks necessary for leading an independent life, such as bathing or getting dressed—in cohorts of female centenarians in Denmark. James W Vaupel, Quartz, "How long can humans live?," 2 June 2019 Apparently, the centenarian found inspiration for the stunt via Matt Morse, a seasoned skydiver, who works in the wellness department of Williamson's retirement community. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "Seattle man celebrates 100th birthday with skydive: 'It's a real piece of cake'," 27 July 2018 The island of Sardinia in Italy, which has almost 10 times more centenarians per capita than the United States, also follows a Mediterranean diet and encourages an active, outdoor lifestyle with its mild climate. Vogue, "These Are the Healthiest Countries in the World," 26 Feb. 2019 By age 85, women outnumber men 2 to 1, and most centenarians (81%) are women, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s population estimates. WSJ, "The Five Top Experts Posts of 2018 on Protecting Your Financial Future," 7 Jan. 2019 One adventurous centenarian recently celebrated his 100th birthday in a major way — by leaping out of a plane at 14,000 feet. Janine Puhak, Fox News, "Seattle man celebrates 100th birthday with skydive: 'It's a real piece of cake'," 27 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'centenarian.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of centenarian

1747, in the meaning defined above

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Last Updated

11 Aug 2019

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The first known use of centenarian was in 1747

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English Language Learners Definition of centenarian

: a person who is 100 years old or older

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to move or obtain by small maneuvers

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