One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Roman History. Designating an assembly in which the Roman people voted by centuries; of or relating to such an assembly. Especially in "centuriate assembly", "centuriate comitia".
2More generally: of, relating to, or divided into centuries. rare before 20th cent.
with object Roman History. To divide (agricultural land) into a regular pattern of centuries, especially as part of the foundation of a colony. Chiefly in pass. Compare centuriation.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in John Bellenden (c1495–a1548), poet and translator. From classical Latin centuriātus that votes in centuries, (of land) divided into centuries, use as adjective of past participle of centuriāre centuriate<br>early 17th century (in an earlier sense). From classical Latin centuriāt-, past participial stem of centuriāre to arrange (soldiers) in centuries, to divide (land) into centuries from centuria.
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