century

noun
cen·​tu·​ry | \ˈsen(t)-sh(ə-)rē \
plural centuries

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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

For centuries, ritual bathing has been practiced in China for its soothing mind-body benefits. Lauren Valenti, Vogue, "Why a Hot Ginger Bath Is the Perfect Detox Ritual for Winter," 26 Nov. 2018 For centuries, hair texture has been used to establish a racial difference and a racial hierarchy, where straighter hair was linked to Europeanness or whiteness, and kinky hair was linked to Africanness or blackness. Noel Cymone Walker, Allure, "Is It Time to Reclaim the Word "Nappy"?," 25 Sep. 2018 For centuries, the correlation between straight, long hair and femininity have been tightly bound, but now there seems to be a slow, yet necessary, shift in mainstream beauty standards. Teryn Payne, Teen Vogue, "Nappily Ever After Celebrates the Natural Beauty of Black Women," 21 Sep. 2018 For centuries, Agadez was a central desert trading hub where camel trains set off with slaves, pilgrims, salt and gold. Joe Parkinson, WSJ, "‘A Nest of Spies’: Niger’s Deserts Become Front Line of Fight Against Jihadism," 17 Sep. 2018 Gua Sha therapy has only recently come into the American consciousness, but health practitioners in China have been using it for centuries to aid in lymphatic drainage and increase blood circulation. Olivia Hall, The Seattle Times, "Overstressed? 15 wellness trends to help you relax," 3 July 2018 For centuries, its physical style has been designed to radiate upward and outward into the farther reaches of opera houses. Alastair Macaulay, New York Times, "Ballet Today, the Good and the Bad, on Display at the Joyce," 29 June 2018 For centuries, astrology (looking for signs based on the movement of the celestial bodies) was considered basically the same thing as astronomy (the scientific study of those objects). Olivia B. Waxman, Time, "Where Do Zodiac Signs Come From? Here's the True History Behind Your Horoscope," 21 June 2018 For centuries, Knepp Castle’s 3,500-acre estate was devoted to intensive arable and dairy farming. National Geographic, "When Nature Runs Wild, the Results Can Be Spectacular," 16 June 2018

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.

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First Known Use of century

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for century

Latin centuria, irregular from centum hundred

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Learn More about century

Dictionary Entries near century

centuriator

centuried

centurion

century

century plant

CEO

ceorl

Statistics for century

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for century

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

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More Definitions for century

century

noun

English Language Learners Definition of century

: a period of 100 years

: a period of 100 years counted from the beginning of the Christian era

century

noun
cen·​tu·​ry | \ˈsen-chə-rē, ˈsench-rē\
plural centuries

Kids Definition of century

: a period of 100 years

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More from Merriam-Webster on century

Spanish Central: Translation of century

Nglish: Translation of century for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of century for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about century

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