Definition of century
1 : a subdivision of the Roman legion
2 : a group, sequence, or series of 100 like things
3 : a period of 100 years especially of the Christian era or of the preceding period of human history the third century A.D.
4 : a race over a hundred units (such as yards, miles, or meters)
Examples of century in a Sentence
It took more than a century to complete the cathedral.
Millions of people celebrated the beginning of the 21st century on January 1, 2000.
The pottery dates back to the sixth century B.C.E.
When the prince got married, it was called the wedding of the century.
Recent Examples of century from the Web
Volvo will continue to produce pure combustion-engine cars from models launched before that date, but its move signals the eventual end of nearly a century of Volvos powered solely that way.
Chief Justice John D. Minton Jr. Tuesday called Palmore Kentucky's most influential jurist of the 20th century.
And though football season has yet to start, for the first time in nearly a half-century Mr. Downs will be able to raise both arms to celebrate a touchdown.
For much of the 19th century the press had to fight for access to the president’s home.
Among the 900 or so objects on display is the large, fanciful 19th-century Great Clock of America.
Shipping oil overseas is something new in the U.S., a country that spent most of the past century refining almost every drop of domestic output.
His idea — launched in Rancho Bernardo — not only transformed the way volunteers helped San Diego police, but led to similar groups forming worldwide over the past quarter-century.
Hundreds of humans have orbited Earth since space exploration began more than half a century ago.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'century'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of century
Latin centuria, irregular from centum hundred
First Known Use: 15th centurySee Words from the same year
CENTURY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of century for English Language Learners
: a period of 100 years
: a period of 100 years counted from the beginning of the Christian era
CENTURY Defined for Kids
Definition of century for Students
: a period of 100 years
Word Root of century
The Latin word centum, meaning “hundred,” gives us the root cent. Words from the Latin centum have something to do with the number 100. A dollar is made up of 100 cents. A century is a period of 100 years. A percent is the portion of something out of 100 parts.
Seen and Heard
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