[ sek-saj-uh-ner-ee ]
/ sɛkˈsædʒ əˌnɛr i /
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of or relating to the number 60.
composed of or proceeding by sixties.
noun, plural sex·ag·e·nar·ies.
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Origin of sexagenary

1525–35; <Latin sexāgēnārius, equivalent to sexāgēn(ī), distributive of sexāgintā sixty + -ārius-ary
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What does sexagenary mean?

Sexagenary is a less common word for a sexagenarian—someone in their 60s (60 to 69 years old), or someone who is 60 years old.

Like sexagenarian, sexagenary can also be used as an adjective to describe someone in their 60s, as in Our audience is mostly made up of sexagenary women, or things related to such a person, as in I have entered my sexagenary years. 

The similar term septuagenary can refer to or describe someone in their 70s. Terms with the same ending as sexagenarian include quadragenarian (40s), quinquagenarian (50s), septuagenarian (70s), octogenarian (80s), and nonagenarian (90s).

Sexagenary can also be used as an adjective to describe things involving the number 60 or to mean composed of or proceeding by 60s. Notably, the Chinese calendar is based on a sexagenary cycle, meaning each cycle lasts 60 years.

Example: Today is my last day as a sexagenary—tomorrow I begin my 70s!

Where does sexagenary come from?

The first records of the word sexagenary come from the 1500s. It comes from the Latin word sexāgēnārius, from sexāgēnī, meaning “sixty each,” from sexāgintā, “sixty.” The suffix -ary is used to indicate a person (as seen in common words like secretary).

It’s much more common to refer to someone as a 60-year-old or describe them as in their 60s or 60-something than to call them a sexagenarian, and it’s even less common to call them a sexagenary. But sexagenarian and sexagenary can be used as a fancy or fun way of referring to someone of that age, including by sexagenaries who apply it to themselves. As much fun as it is to say, it’s perhaps more often used in writing. It’s sometimes used in the context of highlighting a person who’s doing something that may be surprising for their age, as in My sexagenary yoga instructor is way more flexible than I am.

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What are some other forms related to sexagenary?

  • sexagenaries (plural)

What are some synonyms for sexagenary?

  • sexagenarian
  • 60-year-old
  • sixty-year-old
  • 60-something
  • sixty-something

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

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

How is sexagenary used in real life?

Sexagenary is rarely used. Sexagenarian is much more common.



Try using sexagenary!

Is sexagenary used correctly in the following sentence?

This is a sexagenary counting system, meaning it’s based on 100.

How to use sexagenary in a sentence