Definition of age in English:

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Pronunciation: /eɪdʒ/


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
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • The club aims to provide entertainment for teenagers between the ages of 15 to 18 years in a fun and supervised environment.
  • On Tuesday next all children between the ages of 6 and 9 are invited to come along and take part.
number of years, lifetime, duration, length of life;
stage of life, generation, age group, peer group;
years, summers, winters
1.1A particular stage in someone’s life: children of primary school age
More example sentences
  • Taking seven kids at different ages and stages to Disney World all at once!
  • She has made many appearances on stage from a young age in local musicals - South Pacific and Annie.
  • 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.
1.2 [mass noun] The state of being old: fine wine improves with age
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • But he has always had depth, and like the wine in his cellar he improves with age.
  • The best of the chateaux make outstanding wines that improve with age, in taste and often in value.
elderliness, old age, oldness, seniority, maturity, dotage, senility;
one's advancing/advanced years, one's declining years, the winter/autumn of one's life
formal senescence
archaic eld
rare caducity
2A distinct period of history: an age of technological growth
More example sentences
  • Human history can be divided into two distinct ages - the geocentric and the heliocentric.
  • We face the Brown era in fiction and a dark age for popular history.
  • So what we see is not a story of the past, but today's stories set against the previous age or period.
era, epoch, period, time, aeon, span
2.1 Geology A division of time that is a subdivision of an epoch, corresponding to a stage in chronostratigraphy.
Example sentences
  • However, there seems to be a marked age gap between the Cretaceous ages and onset of rifting in the Eocene.
  • 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.
2.2 (ages/an age) British informal A very long time: I haven’t seen her for ages
More example sentences
  • 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 French Connection hasn't been on television for ages.
a long time, a lifetime, an eternity, seemingly forever;
hours, days, months, years, aeons, hours/days/months on end, ages and ages, a month of Sundays
British informal yonks, donkey's years
North American informal, dated a coon's age

verb (ages, ageing or US aging, aged)

[no object]
1Grow old or older: the tiredness we feel as we age
More example sentences
  • Shanghai has seen its population ageing for the past two decades, with senior residents now accounting for over 18 per cent of its population.
  • I think they've aged in a lot of ways, but I don't think their essential character has changed.
  • Paramilitary bosses were ageing and their members grown rich on cross-border smuggling, robbery and money laundering.
1.1 [with object] Cause to appear old or older: he even tried ageing the painting with a spoonful of coffee
More example sentences
  • She's a young woman and I didn't want to get her something that would age her, so I went with the single pearl.
  • I wished that I had aged the paper first by soaking in tea, as I usually do.
  • “Movie magic” had aged the paint and metal to make it look antique.
1.2(With reference to an alcoholic drink, cheese, etc.) mature or allow to mature: [no object]: the wine ages in open vats or casks [with object]: a cheese that has been aged for four months
More example sentences
  • While this may sound rather unpleasant, it is the tannin which provides the structure of red wines and allows them to age and mature.
  • The culturing process continues as the mild cheddar is allowed to age for about two months.
  • We bought six bottles then and they have been aging nicely and drinking excellently now.
mature, ripen, mellow, become/make mellow, season, condition, soften, sweeten, grow up, come of age;
grow/become/make old, weather, (cause to) decline, wither, fade
1.3 [with object] Determine how old (something) is: we didn’t have a clue how to age these animals
More example sentences
  • Cubs were aged when they were first seen, when their age could be estimated to within an accuracy of 1 month.
  • Timed embryos were aged more specifically by morphology.
  • All captured birds were aged (young of the year or adult), sexed, and marked.



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.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • What makes the whole thing work on a deeper level is that Curtis not only acts her age but shows it.

come of age

Reach adult status (in UK law at 18, formerly 21).
Example sentences
  • The theme evokes the acute anxieties, those of the kids portrayed and those of the responsible adults, that attend coming of age.
  • Many of the Chicano texts appropriate or written for young adults feature males coming of age.
  • Children who come of age and have not gone through the puberty rite are liable to be forcibly seized to undergo the procedure.
2.1(Of a movement or activity) become fully established: space travel will then finally come of age
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • As evidenced from the undeniable success of tonight's event, the movement has come of age.
  • Now the movement has come of age and deserves greater recognition.

of an age

1Old enough to be able or expected to do something: the sons are of an age to marry
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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’.
2(Of two or more people or things) of a similar age: the children all seemed of an age
More example sentences
  • Bryan McFadden, of an age with me, has released a song called Irish Son.
  • 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.
  • 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
More example sentences
  • 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.
  • Jackie Leviston and Alison Gracey of the Lancashire Witch project will give a talk on the history of witch craft 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.


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

Words that rhyme with age

assuage, backstage, cage, downstage, engage, enrage, gage, gauge, mage, multistage, offstage, onstage, Osage, page, Paige, rage, rampage, sage, stage, swage, under-age, upstage, wage

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: age

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