Epoch
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. sigor, sige, G. sieg: cf. F. ['e]poque. See {Scheme}.] 1. A fixed point of time, established in history by the occurrence of some grand or remarkable event; a point of time marked by an event of great subsequent influence; as, the epoch of the creation; the birth of Christ was the epoch which gave rise to the Christian era. [1913 Webster]

In divers ages, . . . divers epochs of time were used. --Usher. [1913 Webster]

Great epochs and crises in the kingdom of God. --Trench. [1913 Webster]

The acquittal of the bishops was not the only event which makes the 30th of June, 1688, a great epoch in history. --Macaulay. [1913 Webster]

Note: Epochs mark the beginning of new historical periods, and dates are often numbered from them. [1913 Webster]

2. A period of time, longer or shorter, remarkable for events of great subsequent influence; a memorable period; as, the epoch of maritime discovery, or of the Reformation. ``So vast an epoch of time.'' --F. Harrison. [1913 Webster]

The influence of Chaucer continued to live even during the dreary interval which separates from one another two important epochs of our literary history. --A. W. Ward. [1913 Webster]

3. (Geol.) A division of time characterized by the prevalence of similar conditions of the earth; commonly a minor division or part of a period. [1913 Webster]

The long geological epoch which stored up the vast coal measures. --J. C. Shairp. [1913 Webster]

4. (Astron.) (a) The date at which a planet or comet has a longitude or position. (b) An arbitrary fixed date, for which the elements used in computing the place of a planet, or other heavenly body, at any other date, are given; as, the epoch of Mars; lunar elements for the epoch March 1st, 1860.

Syn: Era; time; date; period; age.

Usage: {Epoch}, {Era}. We speak of the era of the Reformation, when we think of it as a period, during which a new order of things prevailed; so also, the era of good feeling, etc. Had we been thinking of the time as marked by certain great events, or as a period in which great results were effected, we should have called the times when these events happened epochs, and the whole period an epoch. [1913 Webster]

The capture of Constantinople is an epoch in the history of Mahometanism; but the flight of Mahomet is its era. --C. J. Smith. [1913 Webster] ||


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • 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

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

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  • 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

  • Epoch — PeriodizationIn periodization, epoch can refer to:* Epoch (reference date) A defining moment in the beginning of, or characteristic of, a distinctive historical period or era. * On the geologic time scale, a span of time smaller than a period and …   Wikipedia

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