[ sep-choo-aj-uh-ner-ee, -too-, -tyoo- or, especially British, -choo-uh-jee-nuh-ree ]
/ 藢s蓻p t蕛u藞忙d蕭 蓹藢n蓻r i, -tu-, -tyu- or, especially British, -t蕛u 蓹藞d蕭i n蓹 ri /
Save This Word!

adjective, noun, plural sep路tu路ag路e路nar路ies.
Smoothly step over to these common grammar mistakes that trip many people up. Good luck!
Question 1 of 7
Fill in the blank: I can鈥檛 figure out _____ gave me this gift.

Origin of septuagenary

1595鈥1605; <Latin septu膩g膿n膩rius, equivalent to septu膩g膿n() seventy each (distributive of septu膩gint膩 seventy) + -膩rius-ary
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 漏 Random House, Inc. 2022


What does聽septuagenary mean?

Septuagenary is a less common word for a septuagenarian鈥攕omeone in their 70s (70 to 79 years old), or someone who is 70 years old.

Like septuagenarian, septuagenary can also be used as an adjective to describe someone in their 70s, as in Our audience is mostly made up of septuagenary women, or things related to such a person, as in I have entered my septuagenary years.聽

The similar term sexagenary can refer to or describe someone in their 60s. Terms with the same ending as septuagenarian include quadragenarian (40s), quinquagenarian (50s), sexagenarian (60s), octogenarian (80s), and nonagenarian (90s). Such words are more commonly used as people get older: quadragenarian and quinquagenarian are rarely used, but septuagenarian and octogenarian are more commonly used.

Example: Today is my last day as a septuagenary鈥攖omorrow I begin my 80s!

Where does聽septuagenary come from?

The first records of the word septuagenary come from around 1600. The word septuagenary comes from the Latin word septu膩g膿n膩rius, from septu膩g膿n(墨), meaning 鈥渟eventy each,鈥 from septu膩gint膩, 鈥渟eventy.鈥 The suffix -ary is used to indicate a person (as seen in common words like secretary).

It鈥檚 much more common to refer to someone as a 70-year-old or describe them as in their 70s or 70-something than to call them a septuagenarian, and it鈥檚 even less common to call them a septuagenary. But septuagenarian and septuagenary can be used as a fancy or fun way of referring to someone of that age, including by septuagenaries who apply it to themselves. As much fun as it is to say, it鈥檚 perhaps more often used in writing. It鈥檚 sometimes used in the context of highlighting a person who鈥檚 doing something that may be surprising for their age, as in My septuagenary yoga instructor is way more flexible than I am.

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to septuagenary?

  • septuagenaries (plural)

What are some synonyms for septuagenary?

  • septuagenarian
  • 70-year-old
  • seventy-year-old
  • 70-something
  • seventy-something

What are some words that share a root or word element with septuagenary?聽

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

How is聽septuagenary used in real life?

Septuagenary is rarely used. Septuagenarian is much more common.


Try using聽septuagenary!

Is septuagenary used correctly in the following sentence?

Most of my fondest memories have come from my septuagenary years.

How to use septuagenary in a sentence