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[see-nuh-zoh-ik, sen-uh-] /ˌsi nəˈzoʊ ɪk, ˌsɛn ə-/ Geology
noting or pertaining to the present era, beginning 65 million years ago and characterized by the ascendancy of mammals.
the Cenozoic Era or group of systems.
Also, Cainozoic.
Origin of Cenozoic
First recorded in 1850-55; ceno-1 + zo- + -ic Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for Cenozoic
Historical Examples
  • No dinosaurs are definitely known to have crossed the line into the Cenozoic era.

    Geology William J. Miller
  • Miocene , that period of the Cenozoic era when apes were transformed into man.


    Allen Chaffee
  • In the early part of the fourth great geological Time--the Cenozoic--nearly the whole continent was above water.

  • These several stages of the Cenozoic were also characterised by great vicissitudes of geography and climate.

  • In consequence giant carnivores would find no field for action in the Cenozoic world, and hence they have not been evolved.


    William Diller Matthew
  • Poisonous snakes were not evolved until early in the next (Cenozoic) era.

    Geology William J. Miller
  • What physical characteristics of the earth helped in the development of new animal forms in the Cenozoic era?

    The Meaning of Evolution Samuel Christian Schmucker
  • Why, Trednoke, do you realize that we are living literally at the bottom of a Mesozoic—at any rate, Cenozoic—sea?

    The Golden Fleece Julian Hawthorne
  • The Cenozoic era comprises two divisions,—the Tertiary period and the Quaternary period.

    The Elements of Geology William Harmon Norton
  • There is a laboratory of invertebrate paleontology of Cenozoic and Mesozoic age, with a corps of paleontologists.

British Dictionary definitions for Cenozoic


of, denoting, or relating to the most recent geological era, which began 65 000 000 years ago: characterized by the development and increase of the mammals
the Cenozoic, the Cenozoic era
Word Origin
C19: from Greek kainos new, recent + zōikos, from zōion animal
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 Cenozoic

1841, Cainozoic, from Latinized form of Greek kainos "new, fresh, recent, novel" (see recent) + zoon "animal" (see zoo). The era that began with the demise of the dinosaurs and the rise of "recent" species.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Cenozoic in Science
The most recent era of geologic time, from about 65 million years ago to the present. The Cenozoic Era is characterized by the formation of modern continents and the diversification of mammals and plants. Grasses also evolved during the Cenozoic. The climate was warm and tropical toward the beginning of the era and cooled significantly in the second half, leading to several ice ages. Humans first appeared near the end of this era. See Chart at geologic time.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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