half century


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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