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 Here’s a better way to convert dog years to human years, scientists say Following the long-debunked but still popular idea that one dog year equals seven human years, a 2-year-old pup would be 14, and a 14-year-old dog would be almost a centenarian. Eva Frederick, Science | AAAS, "Top stories: A new kind of hair ‘ID,’ healing broken bird wings, and double-dipping NIH researchers," 22 Nov. 2019 And food plays a factor in longevity: Okinawa has the highest overall global rate of centenarians, and residents here live to be some of the oldest people in the world. Katherine Lagrave, Bon Appétit, "An Okinawa Childhood Spent With a Snorkel and Bowls of Soba," 6 Nov. 2019 Gonzales is one of approximately 80,000 centenarians living in the United States. ExpressNews.com, "Our top stories of the week, in photos," 21 Oct. 2019 Researchers at Harvard Medical School analyzed brain tissue donated to human brain banks by people ranging in age from their 60s and 70s to centenarians who lived to be 100 or older. The Washington Post, oregonlive, "Excessive brain activity linked to a shorter life," 19 Oct. 2019 Her daughter, Caltha Crowe, said Ms. Crowe was exhausted and had taken to her bed several days ago, a highly unusual development for this energetic centenarian. New York Times, "Frances Crowe, Peace Activist and War Resister, Dies at 100," 28 Aug. 2019 Miller learned the super-centenarian is something of a local celebrity. CBS News, "Oldest living American WWII veteran celebrates his 110th birthday," 13 Sep. 2019 While doctors and nutritionists can offer up suggestions on how to live a long, healthy life, the people who know the most about reaching a ripe age are those who have already done it — namely centenarians. Maria Mercedes Lara, PEOPLE.com, "Wild Women, Lots of Booze & Healthy Eating: The Secrets to Living a Long Life, According to People Over 100," 21 Aug. 2019 The result is a wide, clearly marked trail system that’s more flat, wheelchair- and stroller-friendly and easily walkable for visitors from toddlers to centenarians. Pam Kragen, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Palomar College’s arboretum to reopen with access-for-all trails in September," 11 Aug. 2019

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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Time Traveler for centenarian

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The first known use of centenarian was in 1747

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Last Updated

1 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Centenarian.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/centenarians. Accessed 6 December 2019.

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More Definitions for centenarian


How to pronounce centenarian (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of centenarian

: a person who is 100 years old or older

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Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with centenarian

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very cautious or careful

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