[ see-nuh-zoh-ik, sen-uh- ]
/ ˌsi nəˈzoʊ ɪk, ˌsɛn ə- /


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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for cenozoic

British Dictionary definitions for cenozoic


Caenozoic Cainozoic

/ (ˌsiːnəʊˈzəʊɪk) /


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 for Cenozoic

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

Scientific definitions for cenozoic

[ sĕn′ə-zōĭk ]

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.