9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[sen-chuh-ree] /ˈsɛn tʃə ri/
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.
Origin of century
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
Related forms
half-century, noun, plural half-centuries. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for century
  • 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 historians.
  • In many of our older cities, some of the cast-iron pipes that bring water to homes and businesses are a century old.
  • It will dominate the world of small-press-run publication for a century.
  • Vegetables have only been grafted for about a century, but for different reasons.
  • Readily available global supplies may start running out by the end of this century.
  • Greenhouse gases have taken much of the blame for rising global surface temperatures over the past century.
  • All of this infrastructure could be out of commission in a century.
British Dictionary definitions for century


noun (pl) -ries
a period of 100 years
one of the successive periods of 100 years dated before or after an epoch or event, esp the birth of Christ
  1. a score or grouping of 100: to score a century in cricket
  2. (mainly US) (as modifier): the basketball team passed the century mark in their last game
(in ancient Rome) a unit of foot soldiers, originally 100 strong, later consisting of 60 to 80 men See also maniple
(in ancient Rome) a division of the people for purposes of voting
(often capital) a style of type
Word Origin
C16: from Latin centuria, from centum hundred
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for century

1530s, "one hundred (of anything)," from Latin centuria "group of one hundred" of things of one kind (including a measure of land and a division of the Roman army, one-sixteenth of a legion, headed by a centurion), from centum "hundred" (see hundred) on analogy of decuria "a company of ten."

Used in Middle English from late 14c. as a division of land, from Roman use. The Modern English meaning is attested from 1650s, short for century of years (1620s). The older, general sense is preserved in the meaning "score of 100 points" in cricket and some other sports. Related: Centurial.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for century



A hundred dollars: For two centuries a week I had me a bodyguard (1850s+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with century


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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