noun (plural centuries)
1 In contemporary use, a century is popularly calculated as beginning in a year that ends with ‘00,’ whereas the traditional system designates the ‘00’ year as the final year of a century. This discrepancy was particularly apparent on January 1, 2000, which was commercially celebrated worldwide as the first day of the 21st century, even though January 1, 2001, was regarded as the more proper date for this milestone. 2 Since the 1st century ran from the year 1 to the year 100, the ordinal number (i.e., second, third, fourth, etc.) used to denote the century will always be one digit higher than the corresponding cardinal digit(s). Thus, 1492 is a date in the 15th century, 1776 is in the 18th century, and so on.