noun, plural centuries.
a period of 100 years.
one of the successive periods of 100 years reckoned forward or backward from a recognized chronological epoch, especially from the assumed date of the birth of Jesus.
any group or collection of 100: a century of limericks.
(in the ancient Roman army) a company, consisting of approximately 100 men.
one of the voting divisions of the ancient Roman people, each division having one vote.
(initial capital letter) Printing. a style of type.
Slang. a hundred-dollar bill; 100 dollars.
Sports. a race of 100 yards or meters, as in track or swimming, or of 100 miles, as in bicycle racing.
Cricket. a score of at least 100 runs made by one batsman in a single inning.

1525–35; < Latin centuria unit made up of 100 parts, especially company of soldiers, equivalent to cent(um) 100 + -uria, perhaps extracted from decuria decury

half-century, noun, plural half-centuries.
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World English Dictionary
century (ˈsɛntʃərɪ)
n , pl -ries
1.  a period of 100 years
2.  one of the successive periods of 100 years dated before or after an epoch or event, esp the birth of Christ
3.  a.  a score or grouping of 100: to score a century in cricket
 b.  chiefly (US) (as modifier): the basketball team passed the century mark in their last game
4.  See also maniple (in ancient Rome) a unit of foot soldiers, originally 100 strong, later consisting of 60 to 80 men
5.  (in ancient Rome) a division of the people for purposes of voting
6.  (often capital) a style of type
[C16: from Latin centuria, from centum hundred]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Word Origin & History

1533, "one hundred (of anything)," from L. centuria "group of one hundred" (including a measure of land and a division of the Roman army headed by a centurion), from centum "hundred" (see hundred). The Mod.E. meaning is attested from 1628, short for century of years.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


see turn of the century.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
Nevertheless, a change in the temper of the people begins to be noticeable
  during the last twenty years of the sixteenth century.
The complexity of markets today is magnitudes higher than a century ago.
In the seventeenth century the conditions of colonial life were not propitious
  to any sort of writing, humorous or other.
The thirteenth century is, emphatically, the golden age of the monastic
Idioms & Phrases
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