[see-nuh-zoh-ik, sen-uh-]Geology
  1. 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. 2018

Examples from the Web for cenozoic

Historical Examples of cenozoic

  • No dinosaurs are definitely known to have crossed the line into the Cenozoic era.


    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

British Dictionary definitions for cenozoic


Caenozoic Cainozoic

  1. 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
  1. 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

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

cenozoic in Science


  1. 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.