Century Cen"tu*ry, n.; pl. {Centuries}. [L. centuria (in senses 1 & 3), fr. centum a hundred: cf. F. centurie. See {Cent}.] 1. A hundred; as, a century of sonnets; an aggregate of a hundred things. [Archaic.] [1913 Webster]

And on it said a century of prayers. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

2. A period of a hundred years; as, this event took place over two centuries ago. [1913 Webster]

Note: Century, in the reckoning of time, although often used in a general way of any series of hundred consecutive years (as, a century of temperance work), usually signifies a division of the Christian era, consisting of a period of one hundred years ending with the hundredth year from which it is named; as, the first century ({a}. {d}. 1-100 inclusive); the seventh century ({a}.{d}. 601-700); the eighteenth century ({a}.{d}. 1701-1800). With words or phrases connecting it with some other system of chronology it is used of similar division of those eras; as, the first century of Rome (A.U.C. 1-100). [1913 Webster]

3. (Rom. Antiq.) (a) A division of the Roman people formed according to their property, for the purpose of voting for civil officers. (b) One of sixty companies into which a legion of the army was divided. It was Commanded by a centurion. [1913 Webster]

{Century plant} (Bot.), the {Agave Americana}, formerly supposed to flower but once in a century; -- hence the name. See {Agave}.

{The Magdeburg Centuries}, an ecclesiastical history of the first thirteen centuries, arranged in thirteen volumes, compiled in the 16th century by Protestant scholars at Magdeburg. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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