epoch

epoch
1. An epoch is the beginning of a distinctive period in the history of something or someone, whereas an era is a period of history characterized by particular circumstances or by a particular series of events. A period is a more general term for a distinct portion of time in relation to a person's life or to human history and an aeon is an immeasurable length of time often used in more rhetorical contexts. In geology, the three terms epoch, era, and period have special meanings: era denotes the largest unit of time, a period is a division of this, and an epoch is a subdivision of a period.
2. The adjective epoch-making is first recorded in the 19c (Coleridge had used epoch-forming in 1816), and is now widely used to mean ‘remarkable, significant’ as well as (more appropriately) ‘historic’:

• This was an epoch-making moment in the history of Egypt, like the day a dam bursts —N. Barber, 1984

• There were a large number of epoch-making events whose 40th anniversaries were celebrated towards the end of last year, as readers will undoubtedly recall —Times Educational Supplement, 2004.


Modern English usage. 2014.

Synonyms:
, , , , (remarkable for some event)


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Epoch — Ep och ([e^]p [o^]k or [=e] p[o^]k; 277), n. [LL. epocha, Gr. epochh check, stop, an epoch of a star, an historical epoch, fr. epe chein to hold on, check; epi upon + e chein to have, hold; akin to Skr. sah to overpower, Goth. sigis victory, AS.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Epoch Co. — Epoch Co., Ltd. is a Japanese toy and computer games company founded in 1958 which is best known for manufacturing Barcode Battler and Doraemon video games. Its current Representative President is Road Yutaka MaedaHistoryFounded in May 1958 by… …   Wikipedia

  • Epoch — (dt. Epoche) bezeichnet im deutschen Sprachgebrauch die Epoche der Unixzeit zwei US amerikanische Science Fiction Filme, siehe Torus – Das Geheimnis aus einer anderen Welt (Epoch), Epoch: Evolution (2003) einen japanischen Hersteller von… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Epoch — Epoch  неоднозначный термин. Возможные значения: Epoch  японская компания по производству детских игрушек. Unix Epoch  UNIX время, система описания моментов во времени, принятая в UNIX …   Википедия

  • epoch — [ep′ək; ] also [ ep′äk΄; ] Cdn & Brit usually [ ē′päk΄] n. [ML epocha < Gr epochē, a check, cessation < epechein, to hold in, check < epi , upon + echein, to hold: see SCHEME] 1. the beginning of a new and important period in the history …   English World dictionary

  • epoch — index age, cycle, duration, lifetime, period, phase (period) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • epoch — 1610s, epocha, point marking the start of a new period in time (e.g. the founding of Rome, the birth of Christ, the Hegira), from L.L. epocha, from Gk. epokhe stoppage, fixed point of time, from epekhein to pause, take up a position, from epi on… …   Etymology dictionary

  • epoch — era, age, *period, aeon …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • epoch — [n] period age, date, era, span, time; concepts 807,822 …   New thesaurus

  • epoch — ► NOUN 1) a period of time marked by particular events or characteristics. 2) the beginning of a period of history. 3) Geology a division of time that is a subdivision of a period and is itself subdivided into ages. DERIVATIVES epochal adjective …   English terms dictionary

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.