[eer-uh, er-uh]
a period of time marked by distinctive character, events, etc.: The use of steam for power marked the beginning of an era.
the period of time to which anything belongs or is to be assigned: She was born in the era of hansoms and gaslight.
a system of chronologic notation reckoned from a given date: The era of the Romans was based upon the time the city of Rome was founded.
a point of time from which succeeding years are numbered, as at the beginning of a system of chronology: Caesar died many years before our era.
a date or an event forming the beginning of any distinctive period: The year 1492 marks an era in world history.
Geology. a major division of geologic time composed of a number of periods.

1605–15; < Late Latin aera fixed date, era, epoch (from which time is reckoned), probably special use of Latin aera counters (plural of aes piece of metal, money, brass); cognate with Gothic aiz, Old English ār ore, Sanskrit ayas metal

1. See age. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
era (ˈɪərə)
1.  a period of time considered as being of a distinctive character; epoch
2.  an extended period of time the years of which are numbered from a fixed point or event: the Christian era
3.  a point in time, esp one beginning a new or distinctive period: the discovery of antibiotics marked an era in modern medicine
4.  geology a major division of geological time, divided into several periods: the Mesozoic era
[C17: from Latin aera counters, plural of aes brass, pieces of brass money]

ERA (ˈiːrə)
n acronym for
1.  (in Britain) Education Reform Act: the 1988 act which established the key elements of the National Curriculum
2.  (in the US) Equal Rights Amendment: a proposed amendment to the US Constitution enshrining equality between the sexes

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

1615, from L.L. æra, era "an era or epoch from which time is reckoned," probably identical with L. æra "counters used for calculation," pl. of æs (gen. æris) "brass, money" (see ore). The L. word's use in chronology said to have begun in 5c. Spain (where,
for some reason unknown to historians, the local era began 38 B.C.E.; some say it was because of a tax levied that year). Like epoch, in Eng. it originally meant "the starting point of an age;" meaning "system of chronological notation" is c.1646; that of "historical period" is 1741.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
era   (îr'ə)  Pronunciation Key 
A division of geologic time, longer than a period and shorter than an eon.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Abbreviations & Acronyms
  1. earned run average

  2. Economic Regulatory Administration

  3. Equal Rights Amendment

  4. exchange rate agreement

The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Example sentences for eras
This breed is often depicted in drawings and paintings from the earliest eras.
Closet drama has been practiced even in eras when stage drama was at its height.
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