cen·​te·​na·​ry sen-ˈte-nə-rē How to pronounce centenary (audio)
especially British
sen-ˈtē-nə-rē How to pronounce centenary (audio)
plural centenaries
centenary adjective

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A centenary, like its cousin centennial, is an anniversary. Thus, the year 2013 may mark the centenary of a town's founding, and the year-long calendar of public events that the town sponsors for the occasion—that is, the celebration of the anniversary—can also be called a centenary. Individuals have their own centenaries, which usually celebrate their births; thus, Gerald Ford's centenary will occur in 2013, and John Kennedy's in 2017. And if you live long enough to be a centenarian, you'll be around to join the celebrations.

Examples of centenary in a Sentence

This year marks the centenary of the building's construction.
Recent Examples on the Web The legendary All in the Family and Good Times marked his centenary plus one on Thursday with a reflective yet playful video posted on his Instagram. Henry Chandonnet, Peoplemag, 27 July 2023 The initial entry list for the centenary of endurance racing’s biggest event was announced on Monday. Bryan Hood, Robb Report, 28 Feb. 2023 The initial concept at Gagosian was to designate 100 selectors, one for each year of his centenary. Julie Belcove, Robb Report, 16 Apr. 2023 The British Film Institute has announced a season of Disney films to celebrate the Mouse House’s centenary this year. K.j. Yossman, Variety, 11 May 2023 Created in 2002 by Peter Auto, in association with the Automobile Club de l’Ouest, the Le Mans Classic is celebrating the centenary of the 24-hour race at this year’s retrospective event, scheduled for June 29 to July 1. Victoria Gomelsky, Robb Report, 23 June 2023 To help Le Mans celebrate its centenary, Mazda brought the iconic winning 787B back to the Circuit de la Sarthe for some ear-splitting demonstration laps. Brendan McAleer, Car and Driver, 13 June 2023 Later in 2023, Turkey is set to celebrate its centenary as a modern republic. Matt Williams, The Conversation, 26 May 2023 A couple of years shy of its centenary, Paris’ Le Bristol hotel is making its Web3 debut with the launch of Le Bristol Unlocked, 11 exclusive NFTs (the number corresponds to the hotel’s 11 signature suites) which will unlock money-can’t-buy experiences in the real world. Stephanie Hirschmiller, Forbes, 26 Mar. 2023 See More

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

Word History


Late Latin centenarium, from Latin centenarius of a hundred, from centeni one hundred each, from centum hundred — more at hundred

First Known Use

1661, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of centenary was in 1661

Dictionary Entries Near centenary

Cite this Entry

“Centenary.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/centenary. Accessed 27 Sep. 2023.

Kids Definition


adjective or noun

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