[sen-ten-uh-ree, sen-tn-er-ee; especially British sen-tee-nuh-ree]
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noun, plural cen·ten·ar·ies.
  1. a centennial.
  2. a period of 100 years; century.

Origin of centenary

1600–10; < Latin centēnārius (adj.), equivalent to centēn(ī) a hundred each (cent(um) 100 + -ēnī distributive suffix) + -ārius -ary
Can be confusedcentenary centennial
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for centenary


  1. of or relating to a period of 100 years
  2. occurring once every 100 years
noun plural -naries
  1. a 100th anniversary or its celebration

Word Origin for centenary

C17: from Latin centēnārius of a hundred, from centēnī a hundred each, from centum hundred
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 centenary

c.1600, "period of 100 years," from Latin centenarius "of a hundred, relating to a hundred," from centenai "a hundred each," from centum "hundred" (see hundred). As a noun, "100th anniversary," from 1788.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper