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.
- sub·ep·och, noun
- su·per·ep·och, noun
- epic, epoch
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use epoch in a sentence
My mother was born on VE Day, her bones still untainted by the nuclear bombs that would come a few months later, ushering in a new epoch.
These days, his legacy can be seen in the work of artists such as Chloe Wise and Beth Salvini, who now hold the torch as some of our epoch’s most important fake food sculpturesses.
A central feature of cosmology, as we commonly understand it, is an epoch known as inflation, thought to have taken place in the first fractions of a second after the Planck epoch, itself a mysterious regime.Schrödinger’s Cat When Nobody Is Looking - Issue 89: The Dark Side | Daniel Sudarsky | August 26, 2020 | Nautilus
During this epoch, the balloon deflates modestly, but the real work is done by a drastically shrinking horizon.
During the Pleistocene epoch, which ended about 11,700 years ago, Milankovitch cycles sent the planet in and out of ice ages.How Earth’s Climate Changes Naturally (and Why Things Are Different Now) | Howard Lee | July 21, 2020 | Quanta Magazine
At the same time, it is the hallmark of brilliant people whatever their civilization, epoch, or area of expertise.
As I said, Balzac wrote about an epoch that is curiously like our own.
From time to time the state would crack down, most spectacularly during the fascist epoch.
Eulogizing Vidal was to eulogize the now long-gone epoch he typified.Gore Vidal Epitomized an Era When Writers Were Like Rock Stars | Malcolm Jones | August 2, 2012 | THE DAILY BEAST
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 DAILY BEAST
So it came to pass that another change came into his life, hence another epoch in the unusual life was his.The Homesteader | Oscar Micheaux
Science teaches that man existed during the glacial epoch, which was at least fifty thousand years before the Christian era.God and my Neighbour | Robert Blatchford
This epoch-making invention, introduced in 1832, rendered possible extraordinary developments.The Recent Revolution in Organ Building | George Laing Miller
Such are the characteristics, says this enthusiastic admirer of these productions of Steiner's third or last epoch.Violins and Violin Makers | Joseph Pearce
Under such auspices dawned the year 1861, destined to inaugurate a new epoch in the life of Tchaikovsky.The Life & Letters of Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky | Modeste Tchaikovsky
British Dictionary definitions for epoch
a point in time beginning a new or distinctive period: the 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 formed: the Pleistocene epoch
physics the displacement of an oscillating or vibrating body at zero time
- epochal (ˈɛpˌɒkəl), adjective
- epochally, adverb
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 epoch
The shortest division of geologic time. An epoch is a subdivision of a period.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary Copyright © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.