AskDefine | Define century

Dictionary Definition



1 100 years
2 ten 10s [syn: hundred, 100, C, one C, centred]

User Contributed Dictionary



Latin centuria



  1. A period of 100 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.
  2. A unit in ancient Roman, 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 runs scored either by a single player in one innings, or by two players in a partnership.
  5. In the context of "US|cycling": A ride 100 miles in length.



100 years
Roman army type unit
  • Dutch: centurie
  • French: centurie
  • German: Zenturie
  • Hebrew: קנטוריה (qent'uria)
  • Italian: centuria
  • Lithuanian: centurija , similar unit in other armies — šimtinė
  • Polish: centuria
  • Portuguese: centúria
  • Russian: центурия (tsentúrija)
  • Serbian: stotina
  • Slovak: stotina
  • Slovenian: stotnija
  • Spanish: centuria
political division of Rome
  • Dutch: centurie
  • French: centurie
  • Italian: centuria
  • Lithuanian: centurija
  • Polish: centuria
  • Portuguese: centúria
  • Russian: центурия (tsentúrija)

Extensive Definition

A century (From the Latin cent, one hundred) is one hundred consecutive years. Centuries are numbered ordinally (e.g. "The Seventh Century AD").

Start and End in the Gregorian Calendar

According to the Gregorian calendar, the 1st century AD started on January 1, 1 and ended on December 31, 100. The 2nd century started at year 101, the third at 201, etc. The n-th century will start on the year 100×n - 99. A century will only include one year, the centennial year, that starts with the century's number (e.g. 1900 is in the 19th century).

End of the 20th century

It is commonly-held misconception that the 20th century ended on December 31, 1999. The 20th century actually ended on December 31, 2000, its centennial year.

1st Century AD and BC

There is no "zeroth century" in between the 1st century BC and the 1st century AD. The first century BC includes the years 100 BC to 1 BC. Other centuries BC follow the same pattern.

Dating Systems before the Century

The oldest dating systems were based on the reigns of monarchs, (e.g. the fifteenth year of King George). Similarly, other systems arose dating from the founding of a dynasty, city or religion. For example, Ab urbe condita counts the Year 1 as the founding of Rome, Anno Domini as the first full year of Jesus Christ's life and the Islamic calendar counts in the year of the Hijra. The Gregorian calendar adopted Anno Domini as the basis for its numbering system.

Centuries in Astronomical Year Numbering

Astronomical year numbering, used by astronomers) includes a year zero. Consequently, the first century in these calendars may designate the years 0 to 99 as the first century. and to regard 2000 as the first year of the twenty-first century, the year 0 corresponding then to Georgian year 1 BC.


"The Battle of the Centuries", Ruth Freitag, U.S. Government Printing Office. Available from the Superintendent of Documents, P.O. Box 371954, Pittsburgh, PA 15250- 7954. Cite stock no. 030-001-00153-9.
century in Afrikaans: Eeue
century in Arabic: قرن (زمن)
century in Asturian: Sieglu
century in Min Nan: Sè-kí
century in Belarusian: Стагоддзе
century in Bosnian: Vijek
century in Breton: Kantved
century in Bulgarian: Век
century in Catalan: Segle
century in Chuvash: Ĕмĕр
century in Czech: Století
century in Danish: Århundrede
century in German: Jahrhundert
century in Estonian: Sajandid
century in Modern Greek (1453-): Αιώνας
century in Spanish: Siglo
century in Esperanto: Jarcento
century in Basque: Mende
century in Persian: قرن
century in French: Siècle
century in Western Frisian: Ieu
century in Irish: Aois
century in Galician: Século
century in Korean: 세기
century in Croatian: Stoljeće
century in Indonesian: Abad
century in Icelandic: Öld
century in Italian: Secolo
century in Hebrew: מאה (זמן)
century in Javanese: Abad
century in Kannada: ಶತಮಾನ
century in Georgian: საუკუნე
century in Swahili (macrolanguage): Karne
century in Haitian: Syèk
century in Kurdish: Sedsal
century in Latin: Saeculum
century in Latvian: Gadsimts
century in Lithuanian: Amžius
century in Lingala: Bonkámá
century in Hungarian: Évszázad
century in Malay (macrolanguage): Abad
century in Mongolian: Зуун
century in Dutch: Eeuw
century in Japanese: 世紀
century in Norwegian: Århundre
century in Narom: Syiclle
century in Polish: Wiek
century in Portuguese: Século
century in Romanian: Secol
century in Vlax Romani: Shelbersh
century in Russian: Век
century in Sicilian: Sèculu
century in Simple English: Century
century in Slovak: Storočie
century in Slovenian: Stoletje
century in Serbian: Век
century in Serbo-Croatian: Vijek
century in Sundanese: Abad
century in Finnish: Vuosisata
century in Swedish: Sekel
century in Tagalog: Daang Taon
century in Tamil: நூற்றாண்டு
century in Thai: ศตวรรษ
century in Vietnamese: Thế kỷ
century in Tajik: Аср
century in Turkish: Yüzyıl
century in Ukrainian: Століття
century in Urdu: ٹائم لائن
century in Võro: Aastagasada
century in Yoruba: Ọ̀rúndún
century in Contenese: 世紀
century in Chinese: 世纪

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

C, C-note, G, G-note, abundant year, academic year, aeon, age, ages, annum, bicentenary, bicentennial, bissextile year, buck, calendar month, calendar year, cartwheel, cent, cental, centare, centenarian, centenary, centennial, centennium, centigram, centimeter, centipede, centistere, centred, centref, centrev, centumvir, centumvirate, centurion, common year, copper, cwt, day, decade, decennary, decennium, defective year, dime, dollar, dollar bill, eternity, fifty cents, fin, fiscal year, fish, five cents, five hundred dollars, five-dollar bill, five-hundred-dollar bill, five-spot, fiver, fortnight, four bits, frogskin, grand, gross, half G, half a C, half dollar, half grand, hecatomb, hour, hundred, hundred-dollar bill, hundredweight, iron man, leap year, long, long hundred, long time, long while, lunar month, lunar year, lunation, luster, lustrum, man-hour, microsecond, mill, millennium, millisecond, minute, moment, month, month of Sundays, moon, nickel, one C, penny, quarter, quinquennium, red cent, regular year, right smart spell, sawbuck, second, semester, sesquicentenary, sesquicentennial, session, sidereal year, silver dollar, skin, smacker, solar year, sun, ten cents, ten-spot, tenner, tercentenary, tercentennial, term, thousand dollars, thousand-dollar bill, trimester, twelvemonth, twenty-dollar bill, twenty-five cents, two bits, two-dollar bill, two-spot, week, weekday, yard, year, years, years on end
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