nonagenarian

[ non-uh-juh-nair-ee-uhn, noh-nuh- ]
/ ˌnɒn ə dʒəˈnɛər i ən, ˌnoʊ nə- /

adjective

of the age of 90 years, or between 90 and 100 years old.

noun

a nonagenarian person.

QUIZZES

BECOME A PRO CHEF WITH THIS EXQUISITE CUISINE QUIZ!

Even if you can't be a professional chef, you can at least talk like one with this vocabulary quiz.
Question 1 of 9
You may have read the word "simmer" in a recipe or two, but what does it really mean?

Origin of nonagenarian

1795–1805; <Latin nōnāgēnāri(us) containing ninety, consisting of ninety (nōnāgēn(ī) ninety each + -ārius-ary) + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does nonagenarian mean?

A nonagenarian is someone in their 90s (90 to 99 years old), or someone who is 90 years old.

Nonagenarian can also be used as an adjective to describe someone in their 90s, as in Our audience is mostly made up of nonagenarian women, or things related to such a person, as in I have entered my nonagenarian 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 centenarian (100 or older).

Example: Today is my last day as a nonagenarian—tomorrow I turn 100!

Where does nonagenarian come from?

The first records of the word nonagenarian come from around 1800. It comes from the Latin word nōnāgēnāri(us), meaning “containing ninety,” from nōnāginta, “ninety.” The suffix -an is used to indicate a person (as seen in common words like pedestrian and historian).

It’s more common to refer to someone as a 90-year-old or describe them as in their 90s or 90-something than to call them a nonagenarian. But nonagenarian is used as a fancy or fun way of referring to someone of that age, including by nonagenarians who apply it to themselves. As much fun as it is to say, it’s perhaps more often used in writing. It’s often used in the context of highlighting a person who’s doing something that may be surprising for their age, as in That nonagenarian marathon runner is amazing.

Did you know ... ?

What are some synonyms for nonagenarian?

  • 90-year-old
  • ninety-year-old
  • 90-something
  • ninety-something

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

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

How is nonagenarian used in real life?

Nonagenarian is often used to be fancy or funny when referring to 90-somethings.

 

 

Try using nonagenarian!

Is nonagenarian used correctly in the following sentence?

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

Example sentences from the Web for nonagenarian

British Dictionary definitions for nonagenarian

nonagenarian
/ (ˌnəʊnədʒɪˈnɛərɪən) /

noun

a person who is from 90 to 99 years old

adjective

of, relating to, or denoting a nonagenarian

Word Origin for nonagenarian

C19: from Latin nōnāgēnārius, from nōnāginta ninety
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