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Word of the Day
Thursday, June 01, 2017

Definitions for centenarian

  1. a person who has reached the age of 100.
  2. pertaining to or having lived 100 years.

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Citations for centenarian
Allan cut across the churchyard to the south, until a stone wall appeared in his path. It wasn't more than three feet high, but Allan was a centenarian, not a high jumper. Jonas Jonasson, The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared, translated by Rod Bradbury, 2012
A spry centenarian, he still drives and is known for his sharp sense of humor. , "Milestones: Rotarians in Action," Rotarian, June 2002
Origin of centenarian
Centenarian comes from the Latin adjective centēnārius “consisting of a hundred” but in classical Latin refers to measurements or solid things (e.g., 100-pound boulders for hurling in a ballista, an ancient artillery piece) but not to persons. The senses of “lasting a hundred years, a hundred years old" is a development in Late Latin. Centēnārius is a derivative of the adjective centēnī “a hundred each, a hundred,” and may be used for persons. It is all too easy (and reasonable) to think that centenarian should be spelled centennarian (i.e., with two n’s) on the analogy of centennial, bicentennial, etc., in which the -enn is a combining form from the noun annus “year.” Centenarian entered English in the mid-18th century.