epoch

as in era
an extent of time associated with a particular person or thing Sir Isaac Newton is usually credited with establishing the epoch of modern science

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How does the noun epoch differ from other similar words?

Some common synonyms of epoch are age, era, and period. While all these words mean "a division of time," epoch applies to a period begun or set off by some significant or striking quality, change, or series of events.

the steam engine marked a new epoch in industry

When is it sensible to use age instead of epoch?

The meanings of age and epoch largely overlap; however, age is used frequently of a fairly definite period dominated by a prominent figure or feature.

the age of Samuel Johnson

When might era be a better fit than epoch?

Although the words era and epoch have much in common, era suggests a period of history marked by a new or distinct order of things.

the era of global communications

In what contexts can period take the place of epoch?

While in some cases nearly identical to epoch, period may designate an extent of time of any length.

periods of economic prosperity

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Cite this Entry

“Epoch.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/epoch. Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

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