Definition of age in English:



  • 1The length of time that a person has lived or a thing has existed.

    ‘he died from a heart attack at the age of 51’
    ‘he must be nearly 40 years of age’
    • ‘Workers under 50 years of age can expect to live well into their eighties.’
    • ‘She moved to 88 Park Row when she was one year of age, and lived there until she was married in 1984.’
    • ‘Membership is open to girls between the ages of seven and ten.’
    • ‘Three hundred people of all ages attended a birthday service in York Minster.’
    • ‘Only McKinlay survived, living to the age of 95 when he died in Glasgow in 1983.’
    • ‘Dr Baig had many patients of varying ages who lived on their own and were suffering some form of depression, mainly from the lack of human interaction.’
    • ‘There were 30 female students and 20 male students whose ages ranged from 9-10 years of age.’
    • ‘For children, symptoms may be present between the ages of 2 to 4 years of age while presentation of symptoms occurs at start of school.’
    • ‘The servicemen recorded their age, rank, length of service, and marital status.’
    • ‘In all honesty, I don't have many relatives that have lived to ripe old ages apart from my maternal Grandfather.’
    • ‘The supervisors were from 33 to 47 years of age.’
    • ‘The children are of varying ages and live as any other family anywhere in the world does.’
    • ‘The club aims to provide entertainment for teenagers between the ages of 15 to 18 years in a fun and supervised environment.’
    • ‘Imagine you're over 60 years of age and a squatter living in the largest slum in Kenya.’
    • ‘On Tuesday next all children between the ages of 6 and 9 are invited to come along and take part.’
    • ‘The girl was about fourteen years of age, shoulder length blonde hair and deep green eyes.’
    • ‘Till the age of five she lived in Kollam, then Quilon, and left for New York with her parents in 1941.’
    • ‘None of us of this generation, I know, will be able to live up to the age of 126.’
    • ‘Enthusiastic young people between the ages of 12 and 18 are invited to apply for the classes which take place on a two hour basis on Saturdays.’
    • ‘At seventeen years of age and a senior at High School in Boston he was outstanding.’
    number of years, lifetime, duration, length of life
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1A particular stage in someone's life.
      ‘children of primary school age’
      • ‘We work with all ages of people from toddlers to the elderly, men and women, new people moving into the area to people who have lived here all their lives.’
      • ‘Of course, people of all ages and histories could be found among the fans.’
      • ‘For seven years the organisation has offered information, advice and support to carers of all ages who help to look after elderly or disabled relatives and friends.’
      • ‘It's no use trying to get people of my age to change their behaviour - they're just not going to.’
      • ‘Every British citizen, of every age, has the right to voice their opinions and be heard by decision-makers.’
      • ‘Astrella Celeste has been performing on stage with her father from a young age and in her own right.’
      • ‘A large crowd, various ages and nationalities, circled a cement stage, writing messages with chalk provided.’
      • ‘The children are separated into several classes according to their ages before they are enrolled into primary school.’
      • ‘Paddlers of all ages and abilities are now getting into the last stages of training for the gruelling 125-mile marathon that is the Devizes to Westminster Canoe Race.’
      • ‘She has made many appearances on stage from a young age in local musicals - South Pacific and Annie.’
      • ‘That is about 540,000 people of all ages, including the elderly, single mothers and children.’
      • ‘Her classes are suitable for people of any age and ability.’
      • ‘At one stage he decided to show his friends of his own age that he could fire an arrow.’
      • ‘Taking seven kids at different ages and stages to Disney World all at once!’
      • ‘He found men with heart disease had lower levels of testosterone than men of similar age and character with normal coronary arteries.’
      • ‘It's high school students, the elderly, and all the ages in between.’
      • ‘He and his friend Tobias Seeger needed only a few seconds to name the three girls their age who still live in town.’
      • ‘Currently arrangements are being made for admission to the local primary school for those of school going ages and hopefully free transport will be arranged.’
      • ‘They covered all ages, from primary school pupils to pensioners.’
      • ‘Four-fifths of primary school governor chairmen felt teenage pregnancy should start to be discussed at primary ages, although only three out of ten schools covered the topic at that stage.’
      • ‘The stage will be open to all ages and types of acts.’
    2. 1.2[mass noun]The state of being old.
      ‘fine wine improves with age’
      • ‘I suggest it's probably bad for your career to be too up-front about age because people are so stupid about it.’
      • ‘The cup final was a clash of age and experience against youth and strong will.’
      • ‘Moreover, age will not improve what was sub-standard to start with.’
      • ‘Like the best food and drink, hopefully it will improve with age.’
      • ‘At one level, the grandmother urge seems just a natural element of the cycle of life, which you come to feel more sensitively with age.’
      • ‘The best of the chateaux make outstanding wines that improve with age, in taste and often in value.’
      • ‘These found that few people with age related macular degeneration experienced improved vision with surgery.’
      • ‘Although it is the case that on average these abilities will go down with age, some people within the groups stay the same or even get a bit better.’
      • ‘We desperately need age, experience and character on the backbenches of our parliament.’
      • ‘Give him his due though, his voice improves with age and Young is possibly one of the country's finest soul singers of the classic mould.’
      • ‘The acting, unlike the cheese it so resembles, has not improved with age.’
      • ‘But the car shows its age with a distinct lack of storage space and frustratingly fiddly stereo controls.’
      • ‘Even the really basic stuff like why does red wine get better with age and white wine worse?’
      • ‘But he has always had depth, and like the wine in his cellar he improves with age.’
      • ‘If wisdom does come with age, I should be very, very wise by now - having aged a good decade in the last 24 hours.’
      • ‘Like a good wine, road racer Ian continues to improve with age.’
      • ‘Most beers are brewed to be drunk immediately but a handful of brewers are now producing beers that are intended to improve with age.’
      • ‘No matter how much you looked after your body, with age mental and physical abilities start to deteriorate, no fault of your own.’
      • ‘It is the Rolls Royce of awards ceremonies and, unlike most winners' faces, has only improved with age.’
      • ‘These are delicate, feminine and subtle wines, which are designed to improve with age.’
      • ‘Solano has played in all but one Villa game so far this season and has lost none of his skill and crossing ability with age.’
      elderliness, old age, oldness, seniority, maturity, dotage, senility
      View synonyms
  • 2A distinct period of history.

    ‘an age of technological growth’
    • ‘We live in an age when attention deficit disorder is rife amongst adults and children alike and brevity is a prized quality.’
    • ‘So what we see is not a story of the past, but today's stories set against the previous age or period.’
    • ‘We face the Brown era in fiction and a dark age for popular history.’
    • ‘The civil liberties case against ID cards is a feeble one that belongs to a more innocent age.’
    • ‘He would have been remarkable in any age, in the age in which he lived, he is utterly amazing.’
    • ‘Thus perished one of the greatest statesmen of his age and of Dutch history.’
    • ‘Raising the club's profile in this media-dominated age is of vital importance to club's like York City.’
    • ‘Fraser claims to hate ‘the modern world’ and would doubtless prefer to have lived in the Victorian age.’
    • ‘In the age of reality, television is increasingly the realm of the amateur.’
    • ‘We live in an age in which laws, rules, regulations, charters, policies and practices intrude on every aspect of our lives.’
    • ‘In the age of television and the Internet, we are not returning to the preliterate, but descending into the postliterate.’
    • ‘Human history can be divided into two distinct ages - the geocentric and the heliocentric.’
    • ‘Historical novels can introduce children to how people lived in other ages, even if told with contemporary sensibilities in mind.’
    • ‘This is the age where the television performs the role of a baby-sitter, than a means of entertainment.’
    • ‘As any school text will tell you, this was primarily an age of invention and rapid material progress.’
    • ‘The relationship between Aubrey and Maturin doesn't need to be explained by reference to any of the various ages of history.’
    • ‘Indeed, I believe its popularity is an important feature of the intellectual history of the present age.’
    • ‘During the ages of history human nature has undergone no essential change.’
    • ‘We live, after all, in one of the most conformist ages in history - the age of reason as we like to call it.’
    • ‘His writings are also a major source for the social history of his age.’
    era, epoch, period, time, aeon, span
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    1. 2.1Geology A division of time that is a subdivision of an epoch, corresponding to a stage in chronostratigraphy.
      • ‘It happened 252 million years ago, at the boundary of the Permian and Triassic geological ages.’
      • ‘However, a range of volcanic ages from Lower Cambrian to Early Devonian is suggested on biostratrigraphic grounds.’
      • ‘All other ages, epochs, and eras are represented by natural evolutionary and geological phenomena.’
      • ‘However, there seems to be a marked age gap between the Cretaceous ages and onset of rifting in the Eocene.’
      • ‘The bulk of the sediments on the outer margin are of Eocene to Oligocene age with thin units of younger sediments on top.’
    2. 2.2British informal A very long time.
      ‘I haven't seen her for ages’
      • ‘Finally after what seemed like ages we had our drinks and were sitting outside.’
      • ‘I was reading WIRED for the first time in ages the other day, and found myself getting annoyed all over again at the breathless prose they use in their articles.’
      • ‘The French Connection hasn't been on television for ages.’
      • ‘Some of the stage crew at Stratford who've been there for ages have said how my voice is just like my father's.’
      • ‘You wait ages for a television drama about what it's like to be fortysomething - wait until you're halfway through your 40s, in fact - and then four come along at once.’
      • ‘The infirm and ill were beamed to safe havens ages ago.’
      • ‘I'm starting to slip back into my nocturnal, staying up very late self again because I was up ages the other night working on my Physics coursework.’
      • ‘I promise I won't write about television for ages.’
      a long time, a lifetime, an eternity, seemingly forever
      View synonyms


  • act (or be) one's age

    • [usually in imperative]Behave in a manner appropriate to someone of one's age and not to someone younger.

      • ‘They no longer feel that they have to act their age, but have released themselves to no longer worry ‘What will people think?’’
      • ‘So he stands supreme in terms of a sportsman not acting his age.’
      • ‘Yes - this winter showed me that I'm not a youngster any more - even if I still don't act my age!’
      • ‘Just for You is more sedate in tone, and both stars are playing more mature characters - indeed, since Bing has a teenaged son in this movie, it's appropriate for him to act his age a little more.’
      • ‘Ah, with that cute smile one can only hope that she grows up to be a good person, still acts her age and does not become the typical self-conscious Indonesian celebrity.’
      • ‘This year something remarkable has happened in Hollywood: women are everywhere, playing the best parts, even acting their age.’
      • ‘What makes the whole thing work on a deeper level is that Curtis not only acts her age but shows it.’
      • ‘And no, this is one actress who doesn't change the subject when you ask her age and, yes, she's comfortable with ‘acting her age’, never mind that she had been a heart-throb when she left the industry.’
      • ‘It's here that she realizes that shutting out love won't bring back her mother, and that she really does need to start acting her age.’
      • ‘They actually acted their age… Most of the time, when we're out for dinner, they tend to poke and prod at each other, clown around etc, I'm sure they do it to wind me up.’
      • ‘Since the theme of the week is apparently not knowing how to act one's age…’
      • ‘It's become apparent in recent years that 40 is the new 30, that 50 is the new 40, that no one wants to act their age.’
      • ‘I won't grow up, I won't slow down, I won't act my age.’
      • ‘The rapper is 16 years old and ready to start acting his age.’
      • ‘‘But I have never felt or acted my age, and I didn't want to start now,’ Heather says.’
      • ‘What happens when the football stops, when those 35-year-old legs give up the pretence and start acting their age?’
      • ‘Just because we can steer the car with our beer bellies these days, it doesn't mean that we have to act our age.’
      • ‘I can now rely on a regular commentary on their allowance, my manipulation of their weekend schedules to give me time to put my feet up and my failure to act my age when talking to their friends.’
      • ‘You know what happens when you don't let kids loose, when you take away their right to act their age or be better than someone else at something or be able to win, place or show?’
      • ‘I would have to change my ways completely, I'd have to grow up, act my age, be responsible and actually have a go at making a relationship work.’
      • ‘People say act your age, but what is that supposed to mean?’
  • come of age

    • 1Reach adult status (in UK law at 18, formerly 21).

      • ‘Many of the Chicano texts appropriate or written for young adults feature males coming of age.’
      • ‘For young people coming of age now I think it's particularly sad, because I feel like I had it just 10 years ago.’
      • ‘This is a ceremony which marks the coming of age for pubescent youngsters.’
      • ‘Adolescent boys and girls came of age by engaging in tribal rituals suited to their future adult roles.’
      • ‘They shared the overriding objective of preserving for the time he came of age the inheritances won by his grandfather and father in England and France.’
      • ‘Young people coming of age imbibed this political atmosphere, for the most part unconsciously.’
      • ‘Children who come of age and have not gone through the puberty rite are liable to be forcibly seized to undergo the procedure.’
      • ‘The theme evokes the acute anxieties, those of the kids portrayed and those of the responsible adults, that attend coming of age.’
      • ‘Many of these are young people who had not yet come of age at the time of the previous elections.’
      • ‘It is understood that the two young people are to marry as soon as Edwin comes of age, although this very understanding has been fatal to love between them.’
      • ‘He faced the prospect of losing his position, and might be motivated to ensure his long-term power and status beyond the point of the rightful monarch coming of age.’
      • ‘Young people mark their coming of age in different ceremonies or initiations.’
      • ‘Teens and young adults will come of age taking the Internet for granted, as their parents did television, as their grandparents did telephones.’
      • ‘Adolescent Development and Rapid Social Change addresses the psychological consequences for these young people who came of age during a time of such uncertainty.’
      • ‘Many human societies have tested young people coming of age with a quest or trial that tests the candidate's physical and mental skills and endurance.’
      • ‘Joly came of age in the liberating turmoil of the 1960s in France, but her story was one of ambition rather than anarchy.’
      • ‘This ‘glorious, loving celebration’ follows young people as they come of age and prepare to enter the real world.’
      • ‘The key to Hong Kong's emergence was its status as a free port at the edge of China, but the emergence of a national identity dates to the early 1970s, when a generation of young people born and raised in Hong Kong came of age.’
      • ‘These people are the adults of tomorrow and are coming of age.’
      1. 1.1(of a movement or activity) become fully established.
        ‘space travel will then finally come of age’
        • ‘The new technology, coupled with more visionary architectural design, allowed America to finally come of age in the development of a distinctly American style.’
        • ‘This exhibition simultaneously marks the coming of age of video art and honours Viola's status as a master of the medium.’
        • ‘Socially responsible investing has finally come of age.’
        • ‘Science and technology came of age fully during WW I, when nations threw all their intellectual and productive energy at each other.’
        • ‘The author suggests that by summer 1998 there had been a turning point, and a more confident Commission had come of age.’
        • ‘Or is this a sign that opinion polling in India is finally coming of age?’
        • ‘I guess, finally, India is coming of age; at least the urban part of it, and given some time, rural India will also catch up.’
        • ‘Now the movement has come of age and deserves greater recognition.’
        • ‘But they saw that book publishing had finally come of age in India, and they felt that a good review journal would serve to bring ‘book and reader together’.’
        • ‘The anti-globalisation movement has perhaps come of age - not on the streets of Seattle or London, but on the streets of Gaza, the West Bank and, soon, Baghdad.’
        • ‘For the movement which came of age in Seattle, the World Bank and the West Bank belong to the same political territory.’
        • ‘Once a bastion for socialist thinking, the open source community is finally coming of age.’
        • ‘This momentous shift has combined with the coming of age of human rights advocacy from the grass roots in Western countries.’
        • ‘As evidenced from the undeniable success of tonight's event, the movement has come of age.’
        • ‘Soyinka insists the day Africa is able to sort out its leadership vacuum is the day the continent will finally come of age.’
        • ‘It will ensure that the judiciary comes of age and takes on responsibility for those features of the relationship that are critical to its future well-being.’
        • ‘After the birth pangs of the 1970s and 1980s, the gay movement had finally come of age, and I was proud to identify myself as a fully participating member of that community.’
        • ‘The Supreme Court Bill provides for New Zealand's final court of appeal to be located in New Zealand, and marks the coming of age of New Zealand's judicial system.’
        • ‘Yes, by all indications it appears sandboarding has finally come of age.’
        • ‘A marginal movement has come of age, spawning a whole generation of human-rights advocates who are turning sex workers into a mainstream cause.’
  • of an age

    • 1Old enough to be able or expected to do something.

      ‘the sons are of an age to marry’
      • ‘Leaving aside that they are not yet of an age considered able to make mature decisions, many are driven into conflict by pressures beyond their control, usually economic in nature.’
      • ‘Usually I like getting a new phone - I'm of an age where there's still some nagging sense of wonder that I can pick out my own phone in the first place.’
      • ‘Indeed, those parents of an age to have had to put up with the abuse, ranting, demonstrating, and phony political idealism of the sixties will at last be getting some kind of return from their children.’
      • ‘Mary Boyd Higgens is the main person behind it, though she must be very advanced in years now, as she was alive and of an age advanced enough to be appointed trustee when Reich died in '57.’
      • ‘More intensive training and supervision is needed to prevent mentors from inadvertently role modeling RA behaviors, since they are still of an age where this dynamic can be an issue.’
      • ‘Zoe is glad when they marry; she's of an age where she's dying to flee the family home but wants to see her mother settled first.’
      • ‘You'd probably been up late on the phone with them, despite being of an age where should know better, talking all night like high school kids with their first crush.’
      • ‘For the Professor, there was a terrible urgency to the rallies, since he was of an age where he could have been forced into uniform and sent off to fight, and this made the chanting and the cheering for Dr. Jim's oratory so much more passionate.’
      • ‘Of the 6 blokes I am 1 of only 2 who is not married and is still of an age where getting blind drunk and climbing on top of bus shelters is ‘a plan’.’
      • ‘The VEC was starting in 2001 with the first of the retirees- ‘none of whom looked to be of an age when they should retire’ -.’
      • ‘Memorandum to the elderly (and by elderly I mean anyone who is of an age to fit in to the generational demographic known as ‘baby boomer’, or older).’
      • ‘And so I was of an age where I wasn't being hired as an actress.’
      • ‘She was not of an age to have helped or even to have supported the Nazis, and therefore (if justice requires that each should get his desert) it was unjust that she should bear the guilty burden of the past.’
      • ‘I have to add that there is a very large decline in the attendance of dances held in the village hall every Monday night and run by an excellent team of teachers, all because those attending now are of an age when they cannot continue to attend.’
      • ‘One afternoon when we were eight or nine, still of an age when curiosity can over-ride kindness, my friend John McGuinness and I spent longer than we should have done proving that his dog was word-deaf.’
      • ‘Two of the sons are now 18 and 17 years old, certainly of an age when they could be rounded up.’
      • ‘They are now of an age that exceeds the average life expectancy in the countries where they live.’
      • ‘He said some members of staff may be of an age where they want to consider voluntary retirement, while others would be re-deployed and High Lawn would also consider how many extra staff will be needed.’
      • ‘My teenage daughters get the bus all the time, but I know that when they are of an age when they can drive, they will start to use the car because it's cheaper.’
      • ‘The main problem is that we're dealing with people who are largely of an age when they're anti-establishment and don't like being told what to do.’
    • 2(of two or more people or things) of a similar age.

      ‘the children all seemed of an age’
      • ‘The cousins were almost of an age, of much the same stature; but Olga had a pallid tint, tawny hair, and bluish eyes, whilst Irene's was a warm complexion, her hair of dark-brown, and her eyes of hazel.’
      • ‘From my mid-30’s to mid-40’s, there were those who told me I looked ‘just like Reba McEntire’. We are of an age, and, at the time, I found it quite annoying.’
      • ‘Though Kaumai was 'Aukele's nephew they were nearly of an age and surfed and boxed together.’
      • ‘Bryan McFadden, of an age with me, has released a song called Irish Son.’
      • ‘A well written story and something we, as we are of an age can understand where others cannot.’
  • through the ages

    • Throughout history.

      ‘the influence of Greek culture through the ages’
      • ‘It is a film that tackles the big questions that have preoccupied all the great philosophers and thinkers down through the ages.’
      • ‘This was more than just a ritual… it was a sign of respect, an old tradition that had been passed down through the ages.’
      • ‘His strong Christian beliefs were at the heart of his life, guiding and directing him on his journey through the ages.’
      • ‘That is the tragically horrifying history of religion through the ages.’
      • ‘And that is where regulars and the drinking public at large will assemble tomorrow for a day of drinking, music and pub games through the ages.’
      • ‘This is a rule that has being passed down through the ages.’
      • ‘This is a delightful festive show, divided into old-time music hall and a selection of Christmas songs and literary works through the ages.’
      • ‘So, if art has to survive through the ages, it must be free, flexible and able to adapt itself to changing tastes.’
      • ‘These images and signs not only represent man's creativity through the ages but also may help in writing new chapters of history.’
      • ‘The founders observed that tyrannical rule and material scarcity had by and large been the fate of man through the ages.’
      • ‘Other items include a 1966 World Cup programme, football boots through the ages, medals and trophies.’
      • ‘So if you feel like dropping in and going back in time through the ages of military history, or just a day out with the family, a great day is guaranteed.’
      • ‘Meanwhile visitors to the museum can go on a historic tour of food and drink through the ages, during this week's Festival of Food and Drink.’
      • ‘Jackie Leviston and Alison Gracey of the Lancashire Witch project will give a talk on the history of witch craft through the ages.’
      • ‘Music has existed through the ages and is indeed one the oldest languages of the world, spoken all over in different dialects.’
      • ‘Of particular interest were the rooms dating from 1600 to present day and the large display of china through the ages.’
      • ‘The book charts the history of the town through the ages and is illustrated with many pictures showing how it has changed over the years.’
      • ‘It's a classic, the sort of conspiracy theory which has fooled gullible people through the ages.’
      • ‘I see the belief in the power of love as being a continuity through the ages.’
      • ‘Human beings are the same through the ages, and having studied ancient music, I can vouch for that.’
      • ‘But like every development through the ages, chat-rooms have brought unwanted problems.’
      • ‘As I picked my way through the grounds, I remembered two warnings that have been passed down to me through the ages.’
      • ‘Being great intellectuals, they pretend instead that their yuppie entertainments are as worthy as any art through the ages.’
      • ‘The two-hour show tells the story of Irish dance through the ages with live musicians, singers and dancers.’


Middle English: from Old French, based on Latin aetas, aetat-, from aevum age, era.