[ sen-tn-air-ee-uhn ]
/ ˌsɛn tnˈɛər i ən /


pertaining to or having lived 100 years.


a person who has reached the age of 100.



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Origin of centenarian

First recorded in 1745–50; from Latin centenāri(us) (see centenary) + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020


What does centenarian mean?

A centenarian is someone who is 100 years old or older.

Centenarian can also be used as an adjective to describe someone who’s 100 or older, as in The ceremony honored centenarian veterans, or things related to such a person, as in I have entered my centenarian years. 

It’s one of several similar terms used to refer to a person of a certain age, including quadragenarian (40s), quinquagenarian (50s), sexagenarian (60s), septuagenarian (70s), octogenarian (80s), and nonagenarian (90s).

Someone who is 110 years or older can be called a supercentenarian. Actually, if you’re 110 or older, you can be called whatever you want.

Example: I can’t believe I’m going to be a centenarian—tomorrow I turn 100!

Where does centenarian come from?

Centenarian comes from the Latin word centenāri(us), from centēn(ī), meaning “a hundred each,” from cent(um), “one hundred.” The suffix -an is used to indicate a person (as seen in common words like pedestrian and historian).

Living to be 100 is becoming more common, but it’s still somewhat rare. The word centenarian is often used in celebration of the achievement, or as a fancy or fun way of referring to someone of that age. As much fun as it is to say, it’s perhaps more often used in writing. It’s also used in the context of highlighting a person who’s doing something that may be surprising for their age, as in These centenarians who still exercise every day never cease to impress me.

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What are some synonyms for centenarian?

  • 100-year-old
  • 100-something

What are some words that share a root or word element with centenarian

What are some words that often get used in discussing centenarian?

How is centenarian used in real life?

Centenarian is often used in a celebratory way.



Try using centenarian!

Is centenarian used correctly in the following sentence?

I can’t believe I’m nearing my centenarian years—40 seems like yesterday.

Example sentences from the Web for centenarian

British Dictionary definitions for centenarian

/ (ˌsɛntɪˈnɛərɪən) /


a person who is at least 100 years old


being at least 100 years old
of or relating to a centenarian
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