American English

Definition of age noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable, uncountable] the number of years that a person has lived or a thing has existed He left school at the age of 18. She needs more friends her own age. children from 5–10 years of age This game is for children of all ages. When I was your age, I was already married. He started playing the piano at an early age. Children over the age of 12 must pay the full fare. She was beginning to feel her age (= feel that she was getting old). He was tall for his age (= taller than you would expect, considering his age). There's a big age gap between them (= a big difference in their ages). ways of calculating the age of the earth
  2. 2[countable, uncountable] a particular period of a person's life middle age 15 is an awkward age. He died of old age.
  3. 3[countable] a particular period of history the nuclear age the age of the computer see also Bronze Age, Iron Age, New Age, Stone Age
  4. 4[uncountable] the state of being old Wine improves with age. The jacket was showing signs of age. the wisdom that comes with age
  5. 5ages [plural] (informal) a very long time I waited for ages. It'll probably take ages to find a parking space. Carlos left ages ago. It's been ages since we saw them.
  6. 6[countable] (geology) a length of time which is a division of an epoch
  7. Topic CollocationsThe Ages of Lifechildhood/youth be born (and raised) in New York; into a wealthy/middle-class family have a happy/an unhappy/a tough childhood grow up in a musical family/in an orphanage/on a farm be/grow up an only child (= with no brothers or sisters) reach/hit/enter/go through adolescence/puberty be in your teens/early twenties/mid-twenties/late twenties undergo/experience physical/psychological changes give in to/succumb to/resist peer pressure assert your independence/individualityadulthood leave home graduate from school/college go to work (at the age of 21) get/find a job/partner be/get engaged/married have a wife/husband/mortgage/steady job settle down and have kids/start a family begin/start/launch/build a career (in politics/science/the music industry) prove (to be)/represent/mark/reach a (major) turning point in your life/career reach/be well into/settle into middle age have/suffer/go through a midlife crisis take/consider early retirement approach/announce/enjoy your retirementold age see/spend time with your grandchildren take up/pursue/develop a hobby get/receive/draw/collect/live on a pension approach/save for/die of old age live to a ripe old age reach the grand old age of 102/23 (often humorous) be/become/be getting/be going senile (often humorous) die (peacefully)/pass away in your sleep/after a brief illnessIdioms
    be/act your age
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    to behave in a way that is suitable for someone of your age and not as though you were much younger Isn't it time you started acting your age?
      come of age
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    1. 1when a person comes of age, they reach the age when they have an adult's legal rights and responsibilities The money will go to the children when they come of age. see also coming of age
    2. 2if something comes of age, it reaches the stage of development at which people accept and value it It was the year that concern for the environment really came of age.
    feel your age
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    to realize that you are getting old, especially compared with people you are with who are younger than you
    a/the grand old age
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    a great age She finally learned to drive at the grand old age of 70.
    in this day and age
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    now, in the modern world
    look your age
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    to seem as old as you really are and not younger or older She doesn't look her age; I thought she was ten years younger.
    of advanced years, somebody's advanced age
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    used in polite expressions to describe someone as “very old” He was a man of advanced years. (humorous) Even at my advanced age, I still know how to enjoy myself!
    of a certain age
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    if you talk about a person being of a certain age, you mean that they are no longer young but not yet old The show appeals to an audience of a certain age.
    a/the ripe old age (of…)
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    an age that is considered to be very old He lived to the ripe old age of 91.
    not legally old enough to do a particular thing It is illegal to sell cigarettes to children who are under age. see also underage
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: age