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

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 Last week, venerated Hollywood actor Kirk Douglas officially became a centenarian, celebrating his 100th birthday on December 9. Michelle Profis, Country Living, "Catherine Zeta-Jones Wished Father-in-Law Kirk Douglas a Happy Birthday in the Sweetest Way," 12 Dec. 2016 Japan is home to more than 67,000 centenarians, including the world’s oldest person, a 117-year-old woman. Washington Post, "Japan ex-PM Nakasone, witness to war and success, turns 100," 26 May 2018 That may be one reason this lively centenarian has an extraordinary memory for someone her age, suggests a recent study highlighting a notable link between brain health and positive relationships. Judith Graham, courant.com, "An Active Social Life May Be A Secret To Brain Health," 1 June 2018 In 2000, there were 50,281 centenarians and in 2014 there were 72,197; a 44 percent increase. Houston Chronicle, "How to “live long and prosper”," 7 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

5 May 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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