One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Literary a remote period of the past.
2The extent to which something reflects or shows awareness of time.
3Chiefly Anthropology, Archaeology, and Linguistics the distance in time between an (especially cultural or linguistic) event or epoch and the present, or between two events or epochs; (more generally) the span of time occupied by a particular culture, phenomenon, etc.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Richard Proctor (1837–1888), astronomer and science writer.
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