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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 (def 10a).

to grow old:
He is aging rapidly.
to mature, as wine, cheese, or wood:
a heavy port that ages slowly.
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.

Contemporary Examples

This punishing and unprecedented schedule could lead to all kinds of asides by the ageing mogul, whether inadvertent or prepared.
Curtains for Murdoch Peter Jukes April 22, 2012

For me, what was most moving was his terrible fear of ageing and his extreme dislike of his own appearance.
Vogue Photographer Erwin Blumenfeld: Secrets of a Fashion Legend Tim Teeman September 13, 2014

The summit will address topics ranging from noncommunicable diseases to ageing societies.
Sarah Brown: How to Save Mothers’ Lives Sarah Brown, Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran July 31, 2012

We realise the Sea King fleet is ageing and welcome the investment in new aircraft.
Is The Real Reason William is Quitting Flying His New American Boss? Tom Sykes March 28, 2013

When I ask how he feels about ageing and his mortality now, Strub smiles.
Sean Strub: Sex, AIDS, Politics and Survival Tim Teeman January 26, 2014

Historical Examples

The contact with that desiccated skin intensified to an extraordinary degree Hilda’s emotional sympathy for the ageing woman.
Hilda Lessways Arnold Bennett

You can easily overtake me on the road, for you are young, and I am ageing and go softly.
The Wind in the Willows Kenneth Grahame

I am sick of this generation that cannot strive or fight, these people of one idea, this doleful, ageing world.
The Last Generation James Elroy Flecker

Perhaps Hals was degenerating with the passing age—certainly he was ageing.
Franz Hals Edgcumbe Staley

Her dislike for the ageing Ogita was sharpened into hate by her love for the handsome young samurai.
Bakemono Yashiki (The Haunted House) James S. De Benneville

the process of growing old or developing the appearance and characteristics of old age
the change of properties that occurs in some metals after heat treatment or cold working
becoming or appearing older or elderly: an ageing car
giving or creating the appearance of age or elderliness: that dress is really ageing on her
the period of time that a person, animal, or plant has lived or is expected to live: the 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, etc: the age of this table is 200 years

a period or state of human life: he 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

generation: the Edwardian age
(geology, palaeontol)

a period of the earth’s history distinguished by special characteristics: the 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 pl) (informal) a relatively long time: she 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 age See 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, aged
to grow or make old or apparently old; become or cause to become old or aged
to begin to seem older: to have aged a lot in the past year
(brewing) to mature or cause to mature

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.

“to grow old,” late 14c., from age (n.). Meaning “to make old” is early 15c. Related: Aged; aging.

age (āj)
The length of time that one has existed; duration of life. v.

To become old.

To manifest traits associated with old age.

acute gastroenteritis

used to denote the period of a man’s life (Gen. 47:28), the maturity of life (John 9:21), the latter end of life (Job 11:17), a generation of the human race (Job 8:8), and an indefinite period (Eph. 2:7; 3:5, 21; Col. 1:26). Respect to be shown to the aged (Lev. 19:32). It is a blessing to communities when they have old men among them (Isa. 65:20; Zech. 8:4). The aged supposed to excel in understanding (Job 12:20; 15:10; 32:4, 9; 1 Kings 12:6, 8). A full age the reward of piety (Job 5:26; Gen. 15:15).


act one’s age
coon’s age
golden age
in this day and age
of age
ripe old age
under age


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