- a particular period of time marked by distinctive features, events, etc.: The treaty ushered in an epoch of peace and good will.
- the beginning of a distinctive period in the history of anything: The splitting of the atom marked an epoch in scientific discovery.
- a point of time distinguished by a particular event or state of affairs; a memorable date: His coming of age was an epoch in his life.
- Geology. any of several divisions of a geologic period during which a geologic series is formed.Compare age(def 12).
- an arbitrarily fixed instant of time or date, usually the beginning of a century or half century, used as a reference in giving the elements of a planetary orbit or the like.
- the mean longitude of a planet as seen from the sun at such an instant or date.
- Physics. the displacement from zero at zero time of a body undergoing simple harmonic motion.
Origin of epoch
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for epoch
At the same time, it is the hallmark of brilliant people whatever their civilization, epoch, or area of expertise.Insufferable Elitism of the SATs
March 8, 2014
As I said, Balzac wrote about an epoch that is curiously like our own.Happy Birthday, Balzac: The Essential Novels
Ronald K. Fried
May 20, 2013
Prague Fatale is authentic because Kerr can muffle the horror of this epoch in dramatic irony but he can also shout it out loud.Must Read Fiction: ‘Prague Fatale,’ ‘Derby Day’ and More
Malcolm Forbes, Hillary Kelly, Mythili Rao
May 9, 2012
The mail, at this epoch, was very different from what it is at present.
No epoch of time can claim a copyright in these immortal fables.The Gorgon's Head
But in this country and at this epoch this is exactly what it has not got.Alarms and Discursions
G. K. Chesterton
But at that epoch I did not admire anything belonging to the Germans.My Double Life
With this, the second epoch of the history of Freeland may be regarded as closed.Freeland
- a point in time beginning a new or distinctive periodthe invention of nuclear weapons marked an epoch in the history of warfare
- a long period of time marked by some predominant or typical characteristic; era
- astronomy a precise date to which information, such as coordinates, relating to a celestial body is referred
- geology a unit of geological time within a period during which a series of rocks is formedthe Pleistocene epoch
- physics the displacement of an oscillating or vibrating body at zero time
Word Origin and History for epoch
1610s, epocha, "point marking the start of a new period in time" (e.g. the founding of Rome, the birth of Christ, the Hegira), from Late Latin epocha, from Greek epokhe "stoppage, fixed point of time," from epekhein "to pause, take up a position," from epi "on" (see epi-) + ekhein "to hold" (see scheme (n.)). Transferred sense of "a period of time" is 1620s; geological usage (not a precise measurement) is from 1802.
- The shortest division of geologic time. An epoch is a subdivision of a period.