- the length of time during which a being or thing has existed; length of life or existence to the time spoken of or referred to: trees of unknown age; His age is 20 years.
- a period of human life, measured by years from birth, usually marked by a certain stage or degree of mental or physical development and involving legal responsibility and capacity: the age of discretion; the age of consent; The state raised the drinking age from 18 to 21 years.
- the particular period of life at which a person becomes naturally or conventionally qualified or disqualified for anything: He was over age for military duty.
- one of the periods or stages of human life: a person of middle age.
- advanced years; old age: His eyes were dim with age.
- a particular period of history, as distinguished from others; a historical epoch: the age of Pericles; the Stone Age; the age of electronic communications.
- the period of history contemporary with the span of an individual’s life: He was the most famous architect of the age.
- a generation or a series of generations: ages yet unborn.
- a great length of time: I haven’t seen you for an age. He’s been gone for ages.
- the average life expectancy of an individual or of the individuals of a class or species: The age of a horse is from 25 to 30 years.
- Psychology. the level of mental, emotional, or educational development of a person, especially a child, as determined by various tests and based on a comparison of the individual’s score with the average score for persons of the same chronological age.
- a period of the history of the earth distinguished by some special feature: the Ice Age.
- a unit of geological time, shorter than an epoch, during which the rocks comprising a stage were formed.
- any of the successive periods in human history divided, according to Hesiod, into the golden, silver, bronze, heroic, and iron ages.
- Poker.the first player at the dealer’s left.Compare edge(def 10a).
- eldest hand.
verb (used without object), aged, ag·ing or age·ing.
- to grow old: He is aging rapidly.
- to mature, as wine, cheese, or wood: a heavy port that ages slowly.
verb (used with object), aged, ag·ing or age·ing.
- to make old; cause to grow or seem old: Fear aged him overnight.
- to bring to maturity or a state fit for use: to age wine.
- to store (a permanent magnet, a capacitor, or other similar device) so that its electrical or magnetic characteristics become constant.
- to expose (a dye or dyed cloth) to steam or humid air in order to fix the dye.
- to stabilize the electrical properties of (a device) by passing current through it.
- of age, Law.
- being any of several ages, usually 21 or 18, at which certain legal rights, as voting or marriage, are acquired.
- being old enough for full legal rights and responsibilities.
- the period of time that a person, animal, or plant has lived or is expected to livethe age of a tree; what age was he when he died?; the age of a horse is up to thirty years
- the period of existence of an object, material, group, etcthe age of this table is 200 years
- a period or state of human lifehe should know better at his age; she had got beyond the giggly age
- (as modifier)age group
- the latter part of life
- a period of history marked by some feature or characteristic; era
- (capital when part of a name)the Middle Ages; the Space Age
- generationthe Edwardian age
- geology palaeontol
- a period of the earth’s history distinguished by special characteristicsthe age of reptiles
- the period during which a stage of rock strata is formed; a subdivision of an epoch
- myth any of the successive periods in the legendary history of man, which were, according to Hesiod, the golden, silver, bronze, heroic, and iron ages
- (often plural) informal a relatively long timeshe was an age washing her hair; I’ve been waiting ages
- psychol the level in years that a person has reached in any area of development, such as mental or emotional, compared with the normal level for his chronological ageSee also achievement age, mental age
- age before beauty (often said humorously when yielding precedence) older people take precedence over younger people
- of age adult and legally responsible for one’s actions (usually at 18 or, formerly, 21 years)
verb ages, ageing, aging or aged
- to grow or make old or apparently old; become or cause to become old or aged
- to begin to seem olderto have aged a lot in the past year
- brewing to mature or cause to mature
v.“to grow old,” late 14c., from age (n.). Meaning “to make old” is early 15c. Related: Aged; aging. n.late 13c., “long but indefinite period in human history,” from Old French aage (11c., Modern French âge) “age; life, lifetime, lifespan; maturity,” earlier edage, from Vulgar Latin *aetaticum (source of Spanish edad, Italian eta, Portuguese idade “age”), from Latin aetatem (nominative aetas), “period of life, age, lifetime, years,” from aevum “lifetime, eternity, age,” from PIE root *aiw- “vital force, life, long life, eternity” (see eon). Meaning “time something has lived, particular length or stage of life” is from early 14c. Used especially for “old age” since early 14c. Expelled native eld. n.
- The length of time that one has existed; duration of life.
- To become old.
- To manifest traits associated with old age.
1Old enough, according to the law, to be eligible for something, as in In this state he’s not of age for buying liquor, but he may vote, or Next year Jane’s coming of age and will get her driver’s license. This usage was first recorded about 1430. The term under age signifies being too young to be eligible, as in It’s against the law to serve alcohol to anyone under age. 2come of age. Mature or develop fully, as in The school’s bilingual program has finally come of age. see act one’s age; coon’s age; golden age; in this day and age; of age; ripe old age; under age.