Century Cen"tu*ry, n.; pl. Centuries. [L. centuria (in
senses 1 & 3), fr. centum a hundred: cf. F. centurie. See
1. A hundred; as, a century of sonnets; an aggregate of a
hundred things. [Archaic.]
And on it said a century of prayers. -Shak.
2. A period of a hundred years; as, this event took place
over two centuries ago.
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).
3. (Rom. Antiq.)
(a) A division of the Roman people formed according to
their property, for the purpose of voting for civil
(b) One of sixty companies into which a legion of the army
was divided. It was Commanded by a centurion.
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