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

In recent weeks, in a bid to improve transparency, administrators have lifted the veil of secrecy that surrounded Dozier and programs like it, allowing The Miami Herald to review century-old records and tour the remote campus. Carol Marbin Miller, miamiherald, "A painful reunion at school of horror," 11 July 2018 Like his colleagues in older cities across the country, Ray Esponda worries about the condition of century-old water mains, pumping stations and valves. Don Stacom, Courant Community, "New Chief Of New Britain Water Utility Sees Rebuilding Ahead," 6 July 2018 Nearly 100 years later, the United States Supreme Court’s decision in Citizens United v. FEC superseded the century-old decree, prohibiting the government from capping any corporate campaign donation. Davis Mccool, NBC News, "Republicans face ‘Dark Money’ campaign attacks in Montana," 1 July 2018 The Star Legend is believed to be the largest cruise ship to transit the locks and the century-old Ship Canal. Morning Brief, The Seattle Times, "Neighborhood crime may not be as bad as some Seattleites fear and Amazon buys online pharmacy | Thursday Morning Brief, June 28," 28 June 2018 Though the trip is being billed as non-political, the prince is meeting with Israeli and Palestinian leaders and visiting sites at the heart of the century-old conflict. Aron Heller, chicagotribune.com, "Prince William visits Israel's Holocaust memorial," 26 June 2018 The century-old company is revamping its image, which is where Rowe comes in. Sarah Spellings, The Cut, "Max Factor Taps Burberry Makeup Artist As Creative Director," 25 June 2018 Brooke Sutherland, Industrials and Deals columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, on GE merging its century-old locomotive business with Wabtec Corp. in a deal valued at $11.1 billion. Bloomberg.com, "Venezuela Has a Refugee Crisis Of Syrian Magnitudes: Hausmann," 21 May 2018 But to some paying attention to the Justice Department's recent decision, Bryant's admission more than half a century later — with no consequences — is simply a reminder of how unevenly applied justice is in America. Eugene Scott, Washington Post, "Why there’s little optimism after the Justice Department reopened the Emmett Till case," 12 July 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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Dictionary Entries near century





century plant



Phrases Related to century

the turn of the century

Statistics for century

Last Updated

11 Oct 2018

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Time Traveler for century

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

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English Language Learners Definition of century

: a period of 100 years

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


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

Comments on century

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one that holds something together

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