cen·​tu·​ry ˈsen(t)-sh(ə-)rē How to pronounce century (audio)
plural centuries
: a period of 100 years
a company that has been in business for more than a century
specifically : one of the 100-year divisions of the Christian era or of the preceding period of human history
the third century A.D./B.C
the 18th century
: a group, sequence, or series of 100 like things
: a subdivision of the Roman legion
: a voting unit of ancient Rome constituted according to property qualifications
: 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. 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 on the Web The trench coat, originally waterproof outerwear, was made during the 1850’s for officers in the British army and became popular in wider civilian life during the early 20th century. Julian Randall, Essence, 14 May 2024 Geomagnetic storms have been recorded since the early 19th century, and scientific data from Antarctic ice core samples has shown evidence of an even more massive geomagnetic storm that occurred around A.D. 774, known as the Miyake Event. David Wallace, CBS News, 14 May 2024 See all Example Sentences for century 

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

Word History


Latin centuria, irregular from centum hundred

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of century was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near century

Cite this Entry

“Century.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/century. Accessed 23 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


cen·​tu·​ry ˈsench-(ə-)rē How to pronounce century (audio)
plural centuries
: a group of 100 things
: a period of 100 years

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