century

noun cen·tu·ry \ ˈsen(t)-sh(ə-)rē \
Updated on: 30 Nov 2017

Definition of century

plural centuries
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

  1. It took more than a century to complete the cathedral.

  2. Millions of people celebrated the beginning of the 21st century on January 1, 2000.

  3. The pottery dates back to the sixth century B.C.E.

  4. When the prince got married, it was called the wedding of the century.

Recent Examples of century from the Web

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

Other Calendar Terms



CENTURY Defined for English Language Learners

century

noun

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

century

noun cen·tu·ry \ ˈsen-chə-rē , ˈsench-rē \

Definition of century for Students

plural centuries
: 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.



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