age ( ages plural & 3rd person present) ( ageing present participle) ( aging present participle) ( aged past tense & past participle )
The spelling aging is also used, mainly in American English.
1 n-var Your age is the number of years that you have lived.
She has a nephew who is just ten years of age..., At the age of sixteen he qualified for a place at the University of Hamburg..., I admired him for being so confident at his age.
2 n-var The age of a thing is the number of years since it was made.
Everything in the room looks in keeping with the age of the building.
3 n-uncount Age is the state of being old or the process of becoming older.
Perhaps he has grown wiser with age..., The fabric was showing signs of age...
4 verb When someone ages, or when something ages them, they seem much older and less strong or less alert.
He had always looked so young, but he seemed to have aged in the last few months... V
He was only in his mid-thirties, but already worry had aged him. V n
5 n-count An age is a period in history.
usu with supp
...the age of steam and steel., ...items of Bronze Age pottery.
6 n-count You can say an age or ages to mean a very long time.
He waited what seemed an age..., The bus took absolutely ages to arrive.
coming of age
8 If someone tells you to act your age, they are telling you to behave in a way that is suitable for someone your age, because they think you are behaving in a childish way.
act one's age phrase V inflects (disapproval)
9 If something comes of age, it reaches an important stage of development and is accepted by a large number of people.
come of age phrase V inflects
Recycling is an issue that has come of age in Britain in the last decade.
10 When someone comes of age, they become legally an adult.
come of age phrase V inflects
The company was to be held in trust for Eddie until he came of age.
11 Someone who is under age is not legally old enough to do something, for example to buy an alcoholic drink.
under age phrase usu v-link PHR, PHR n Because she was under age, her parents were still responsible for her., ...under age smoking.
age group ( age groups plural ) An age group is the people in a place or organization who were born during a particular period of time, for example all the people aged between 18 and 25. n-count
...a style that would appeal to all age groups.
age limit ( age limits plural ) An age limit is the oldest or youngest age at which you are allowed under particular regulations to do something. n-count
In some cases there is a minimum age limit.
age of consent
Theage of consent is the age at which a person can legally agree to having a sexual relationship. n-sing the N
He was under the age of consent.
An age-old story, tradition, or problem has existed for many generations or centuries.
WRITTEN adj usu ADJ n
This age-old struggle for control had led to untold bloody wars.
TheBronze Age was a period of time which began when people started making things from bronze about 4,000<endash>6,000 years ago. n-proper the N
coming of age
1 n-sing When something reaches an important stage of development and is accepted by a large number of people, you can refer to this as its coming of age.
...postwar Germany's final coming-of-age as an independent sovereign state.
2 n-sing Someone's coming of age is the time when they become legally an adult.
...traditional coming-of-age ceremonies.
dark age ( dark ages plural ) , Dark Age
1 n-count If you refer to a period in the history of a society as a dark age, you think that it is characterized by a lack of knowledge and progress.
WRITTEN, disapproval The Education Secretary accuses teachers of wanting to return to a dark age.
2 n-proper The Dark Ages are the period of European history between about 500 A.D. and about 1000 A.D.
golden age ( golden ages plural ) A golden age is a period of time during which a very high level of achievement is reached in a particular field of activity, especially in art or literature. n-count oft N of n
You grew up in the golden age of American children's books.
The Ice Age was a period of time lasting many thousands of years, during which a lot of the earth's surface was covered with ice. n-proper the N
The Iron Age was a period of time which began when people started making things from iron about three thousand years ago. n-proper the N
...the remains of an Iron Age fort.
mental age ( mental ages plural ) A person's mental age is the age which they are considered to have reached in their ability to think or reason. n-count usu sing
Middle age is the period in your life when you are no longer young but have not yet become old. Middle age is usually considered to take place between the ages of 40 and 60. n-uncount
Men tend to put on weight in middle age.
New Age is used to describe spiritual or non-scientific activities such as meditation, astrology, and alternative medicine, or people who are connected with such activities. adj usu ADJ n
She was involved in many New Age activities such as yoga and healing.
New Age traveller ( New Age travellers plural ) New Age travellers are people who live in tents and vehicles and travel from place to place, and who reject many of the values of modern society.
(BRIT) n-count usu pl
Your old age is the period of years towards the end of your life. n-uncount oft poss N (Antonym: youth)
They worry about how they will support themselves in their old age...
old age pension ( old age pensions plural ) , old-age pension An old age pension is a regular amount of money that people receive from the government when they have retired from work.
in AM, use social security benefit, social security payment
old age pensioner ( old age pensioners plural ) , old-age pensioner An old age pensioner is a person who is old enough to receive an pension from their employer or the government.
(=OAP, senior citizen)
in AM, use senior citizen, retiree
1 adj If you are over-age, you are officially too old to do something.
He was a couple of months over-age for the youth team.
2 adj You use over-age to describe someone who is doing something that is usually done by much younger people, and which therefore seems inappropriate or silly.
ADJ n (disapproval)
...an over-age nightclub singer.
When a child reaches school age, he or she is old enough to go to school. n-uncount oft prep N
Most of them have young children below school age.
School age is also an adjective., adj usu ADJ n
...families with school-age children.
space age , space-age
1 n-sing The space age is the present period in the history of the world, when travel in space has become possible.
2 adj You use space-age to describe something that is very modern and makes you think of the technology of the space age.
usu ADJ n
...a space-age tower of steel and glass.
The Stone Age is a very early period of human history, when people used tools and weapons made of stone, not metal. n-proper the N
under age , underage
1 adj A person who is under age is legally too young to do something, for example to drink alcohol, have sex, or vote.
Underage youths can obtain alcohol from their older friends., ...girls who have babies when they are under age.
2 adj Under age activities such as drinking or smoking are carried out by people who are legally too young to do them.
...his efforts to stop under age drinking and drug abuse.