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Webster 1913 Edition


Century

Cen′tu-ry

,
Noun.
;
pl.
Centuries
(#)
.
[L.
centuria
(in senses 1 & 3), fr.
centum
a hundred: cf. F.
centurie
. See
Cent
.]
1.
A hundred;
as, a
century
of sonnets
; an aggregate of a hundred things.
[Archaic.]
And on it said a
century
of prayers.
Shakespeare
2.
A period of a hundred years;
as, this event took place over two
centuries
ago
.
Century, in the reckoning of time, although often used in a general way of any series of hundred consecutive years (as, a century of temperance work), usually signifies a division of the Christian era, consisting of a period of one hundred years ending with the hundredth year from which it is named; as, the first century (
a
.
d
. 1-100 inclusive); the seventh century (
a
.
d
. 601-700); the eighteenth century (
a
.
d
. 1701-1800). With words or phrases connecting it with some other system of chronology it is used of similar division of those eras; as, the first century of Rome (A.U.C. 1-100).
3.
(Rom. Antiq.)
(a)
A division of the Roman people formed according to their property, for the purpose of voting for civil officers.
(b)
One of sixty companies into which a legion of the army was divided. It was Commanded by a centurion.
Century plant
(Bot.)
,
the
Agave Americana
, formerly supposed to flower but once in a century; – hence the name. See
Agave
.
The Magdeburg Centuries
,
an ecclesiastical history of the first thirteen centuries, arranged in thirteen volumes, compiled in the 16th century by Protestant scholars at Magdeburg.

Webster 1828 Edition


Century

CENTURY

,
Noun.
1.
In a general sense, a hundred; any thing consisting of a hundred parts.
2.
A division of the Roman people for the purpose of electing magistrates and enacting laws, the people voting by centuries; also, a company consisting of a hundred men.
3.
A period of a hundred years. This is the most common signification of the word; and as we begin our modern computation of time from the incarnation of Christ, the word is generally applied to some term of a hundred years subsequent to that event; as the fist or second century, or the tenth century. If we intend to apply the word to a different era, we use an explanatory adjunct; as the third century before the Christian era, or after the reign of Cyrus.
4.
The Centuries of Magdeburg, a title given to an ecclesiastical history, arranged in 13 centuries, compiled by a great number of Protestants at Magdeburg.

Definition 2021


century

century

English

Noun

century (plural centuries)

  1. A period of 100 consecutive years; often specifically a numbered period with conventional start and end dates, e.g., the twentieth century, which stretches from (strictly) 1901 through 2000, or (informally) 1900 through 1999. The first century AD was from 1 to 100.
    • 1963, Margery Allingham, “Foreword”, in The China Governess:
      He stood transfixed before the unaccustomed view of London at night time, a vast panorama which reminded him [] of some wood engravings far off and magical, in a printshop in his childhood. They dated from the previous century and were coarsely printed on tinted paper, with tinsel outlining the design.
    • 2013 July 20, The attack of the MOOCs”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Since the launch early last year of [] two Silicon Valley start-ups offering free education through MOOCs, massive open online courses, the ivory towers of academia have been shaken to their foundations. University brands built in some cases over centuries have been forced to contemplate the possibility that information technology will rapidly make their existing business model obsolete.
  2. A unit in ancient Roman army, originally of 100 army soldiers as part of a cohort, later of more varied sizes (but typically containing 60 to 70 or 80) soldiers or other men (guards, police, firemen), commanded by a centurion.
  3. A political division of ancient Rome, meeting in the Centuriate Assembly.
  4. A hundred like things; a hundred.
  5. (cricket) A hundred runs scored either by a single player in one innings, or by two players in a partnership.
  6. (sports) A race a hundred units (as meters, kilometres, miles) in length.
  7. (US, informal) A banknote in the denomination of one hundred dollars.

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Most common English words before 1923: floor · example · class · #984: century · sorry · share · working