[ kwod-ruh-juh-nair-ee-uhn ]
/ ˌkwɒd rə dʒəˈnɛər i ən /
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40 years of age.
between the ages of 40 and 50.
a person who is 40 years old or whose age falls between 40 and 50.
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Origin of quadragenarian

1830–40; <Latin quadrāgēnāri(us) consisting of forty (quādrāgēn(ī) forty each + -ārius-ary) + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does quadragenarian mean?

A quadragenarian is someone in their 40s (40 to 49 years old), or someone who is 40 years old.

Quadragenarian can also be used as an adjective to describe someone in their 40s, as in I never thought I’d be a quadragenarian grandmother, or things related to such a person, as in I have entered my quadragenarian years. 

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

Quadragenarian is rarely used. Such words are much more commonly used for older people, especially septuagenarians and octogenarians.

Example: Today is my last day as a quadragenarian—tomorrow I begin my 50s!

Where does quadragenarian come from?

The first records of the word quadragenarian come from the 1830s. It comes from the Latin word quadrāgēnāri(us), meaning “consisting of forty,” from quādrāgēn(ī), “forty each.” The suffix -an is used to indicate a person (as seen in common words like pedestrian and historian).

Chances are that you know plenty of quadragenarians, but you’ve never heard them called that. That’s because it’s much more common to refer to someone as a 40-year-old or describe them as in their 40s or 40-something. When it is used, it’s probably to be funny (perhaps to make someone sound older than they really are) or just to use a fancy word.

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What are some synonyms for quadragenarian?

  • 40-year-old
  • forty-year-old
  • 40-something
  • forty-something

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

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

How is quadragenarian used in real life?

Quadragenarian is not commonly used. When it is, it’s typically to be funny or for the sake of using a rare word.



Try using quadragenarian!

Is quadragenarian used correctly in the following sentence?

Somehow, he became a quadragenarian great-uncle!

British Dictionary definitions for quadragenarian

/ (ˌkwɒdrədʒɪˈnɛərɪən) /

a person who is between 40 and 49 years old
being from 40 to 49 years old

Word Origin for quadragenarian

C19: from Latin quadrāgēnārius consisting of forty, from quādrāgintā forty
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