century

noun
cen·​tu·​ry | \ ˈsen(t)-sh(ə-)rē How to pronounce century (audio) \
plural centuries

Definition of century

1 : 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
2 : a group, sequence, or series of 100 like things
3a : a subdivision of the Roman legion the third century A.D.
b : a voting unit of ancient Rome constituted according to property qualifications
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. The pottery dates back to the sixth century B.C.E. When the prince got married, it was called the wedding of the century.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

Gorbacheva applied to attend the prestigious, century-old Boris Shchukin Theatre Institute, arriving for her audition dressed in a red Adidas tracksuit. Vogue, "Irina Gorbacheva Is Breaking the Mold of What It Means to Be a Russian Actress," 18 Mar. 2019 But the artsy scene and laid back feel haven’t changed much, thanks to strict city ordinances and the century-old Laguna Beach Art Association, which have kept commercialism in check. Andrea Bennett, Condé Nast Traveler, "First Look: Hotel Joaquin in Laguna Beach, California," 30 Nov. 2018 Despite being part of a centuries-old institution with myriad rituals and customs, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle aren't afraid to break from tradition. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "How Meghan Markle's Birth Plan Will Differ from Kate Middleton's," 11 Apr. 2019 Can’t pull yourself up by the bootstraps when centuries-old systems are designed to keep you from the damn boot. Thomas Page Mcbee, Teen Vogue, "Kendrick Sampson on Masculinity, Race, and Why Men Should Be More Vulnerable," 26 Mar. 2019 Breaking up a substance like water to create hydrogen and oxygen is called electrolysis and is a scientific technique centuries old. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Scientists Are Now Transforming Saltwater Into Hydrogen Fuel," 20 Mar. 2019 Arctic, the first feature film from Brazilian director Joe Penna (mainly known before his Cannes debut for his popular YouTube channel), is one of the purest distillations of that centuries-old struggle. Alissa Wilkinson, Vox, "Arctic is a pure distillation of the man vs. nature genre," 1 Feb. 2019 Vicky Tsai, a 40-year-old former financier, started Tatcha LLC nearly a decade ago after she was introduced to centuries-old beauty customs used by Japan’s geisha that cleared up her own skin problems. Jaewon Kang, WSJ, "Geisha Effect: Asian Skin Care Shakes Up the U.S. Beauty Market," 29 Jan. 2019 Nearly half a century later, the Kent State shooting remains a touchstone moment of the anti-war movement of the 1960s and ‘70s. Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "6 Legendary Vietnam-Era Anti-War Movement Protests Everyone Should Know," 3 May 2019

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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about century

Dictionary Entries near century

centuriator

centuried

centurion

century

century plant

CEO

ceorl

Statistics for century

Last Updated

7 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for century

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

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

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 How to pronounce century (audio) , ˈsench-rē\
plural centuries

Kids Definition of century

: a period of 100 years

Keep scrolling for more

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

What made you want to look up century? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!