quinquagenarian

[ kwing-kwuh-juh-nair-ee-uhn, kwin- ]
/ ˌkwɪŋ kwə dʒəˈnɛər i ən, ˌkwɪn- /

adjective

50 years of age.
between the ages of 50 and 60.

noun

a person who is 50 years old or whose age is between 50 and 60.

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Origin of quinquagenarian

1560–70; <Latin quīnquāgēnāri(us) (see quinquagenary) + -an
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

VOCAB BUILDER

What does quinquagenarian mean?

A quinquagenarian is someone in their 50s (50 to 59 years old), or someone who is 50 years old.

Quinquagenarian can also be used as an adjective to describe someone in their 50s, as in I never thought I’d be a quinquagenarian grandmother, or things related to such a person, as in I have entered my quinquagenarian years. 

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

Quinquagenerian 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 quinquagenarian—tomorrow I begin my 60s!

Where does quinquagenarian come from?

The first records of the word quinquagenarian come from the 1500s, but it wasn’t used to refer to age until the 1800s. It was originally used to refer to a commander of 50 soldiers. It comes from the Latin word quinquāgēnārius, meaning “containing fifty,” from quinquāgēnī, “fifty 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 quinquagenarians, but you’ve never heard them called that. That’s because it’s much more common to refer to someone as a 50-year-old or describe them as in their 50s or 50-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.

Did you know ... ?

What are some synonyms for quinquagenarian?

  • 50-year-old
  • fifty-year-old
  • 50-something
  • fifty-something

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

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

How is quinquagenarian used in real life?

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

 

 

Try using quinquagenarian!

Is quinquagenarian used correctly in the following sentence?

Somehow, he became a quinquagenarian great-uncle!

British Dictionary definitions for quinquagenarian

quinquagenarian
/ (ˌkwɪŋkwədʒɪˈnɛərɪən) /

noun

a person between 50 and 59 years old

adjective

being between 50 and 59 years old
of or relating to a quinquagenarian

Word Origin for quinquagenarian

C16: from Latin quinquāgēnārius containing fifty, from quinquāgēnī fifty each
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