n.1. 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.2. 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.3. 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.4. one of the periods or stages of human life: a person of middle age.5. advanced years; old age: His eyes were dim with age.6. a particular period of history, as distinguished from others; a historical epoch: the age of Pericles; the Stone Age; the age of electronic communications.7. the period of history contemporary with the span of an individual's life: He was the most famous architect of the age.8. a generation or a series of generations: ages yet unborn.9. a great length of time: I haven't seen you for an age. He's been gone for ages.10. 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.11. Psychol. the level of mental, emotional, or educational development of a person, esp. 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.12. Geol.a. a period of the history of the earth distinguished by some special feature: the Ice Age.b. a unit of geological time, shorter than an epoch, during which the rocks comprising a stage were formed.13. any of the successive periods in human history divided, according to Hesiod, into the golden, silver, bronze, heroic, and iron ages.14. Cards.b. See eldest hand.15. of age, Law.a. being any of several ages, usually 21 or 18, at which certain legal rights, as voting or marriage, are acquired.b. being old enough for full legal rights and responsibilities.v.i.16. to grow old: He is aging rapidly.17. to mature, as wine, cheese, or wood: a heavy port that ages slowly.v.t.18. to make old; cause to grow or seem old: Fear aged him overnight.19. to bring to maturity or a state fit for use: to age wine.20. to store (a permanent magnet, a capacitor, or other similar device) so that its electrical or magnetic characteristics become constant.[1225-75; (n.) ME < AF, OF aage, eage, equiv. to aé ( < L aetatem acc. of ae(vi)tas age; aev(um) time, lifetime + -itas -ITY) + -age -AGE; (v.) ME agen, deriv. of the n.]Syn. 6. AGE, EPOCH, ERA, PERIOD all refer to an extent of time. AGE usually implies a considerable extent of time, esp. one associated with a dominant personality, influence, characteristic, or institution: the age of chivalry. EPOCH and ERA are often used interchangeably to refer to an extent of time characterized by changed conditions and new undertakings: an era (or epoch) of invention. EPOCH sometimes refers especially to the beginning of an era: the steam engine - an epoch in technology. A PERIOD may be long or short, but usually has a marked condition or feature: the glacial period; a period of expansion. 17. ripen, mellow, develop.
* * *(as used in expressions)glacial age
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