use-icon

HOW TO USE THE DICTIONARY

Learn what the dictionary tells you about words.

Get Started Now!

Some compound words (like bus rapid transit, dog whistle, or identity theft) don’t appear on the drop-down list when you enter them into the search window. If a compound term doesn’t appear in the drop-down list, try entering the term into the search window and then hit the search button (instead of the “enter” key). Alternatively, begin searches for compound terms with a quotation mark.

use-icon

THE USAGE PANEL

The Usage Panel is a group of nearly 200 prominent scholars, creative writers, journalists, diplomats, and others in occupations requiring mastery of language. The Panelists are surveyed annually to gauge the acceptability of particular usages and grammatical constructions.

The Panelists

puzzle-icon

NEED HELP SOLVING A CROSSWORD PUZZLE?

Go to our Crossword Puzzle Solver and type in the letters that you know, and the Solver will produce a list of possible solutions.

open-icon

INTERESTED IN DICTIONARIES?

Check out the Dictionary Society of North America at http://www.dictionarysociety.com

open-icon

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY APP

The new American Heritage Dictionary app is now available for iOS and Android.

scroll-icon

INDO-EUROPEAN & SEMITIC ROOTS APPENDICES

Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:

Indo-European Roots

Semitic Roots

The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.

open-icon

OPEN DICTIONARY PROJECT

Share your ideas for new words and new meanings of old words!

Start Sharing Now!

100-words-icon

See word lists from the best-selling 100 Words Series!

Find out more!

-age
Share:
suff.
1.
a. Collection; mass: sewerage.
b. Amount: footage.
2. Relationship; connection: parentage.
3. Condition; state: vagabondage.
4.
a. An action: blockage.
b. Result of an action: breakage.
5. Residence or place of: vicarage.
6. Charge or fee: cartage.

[Middle English, from Old French, from Vulgar Latin *-āticum, abstract n. suff., from Latin -āticum, n. and adj. suff.]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 
age (āj)
Share:
n.
1.
a. The length of time that a person or thing has existed: a man 23 years of age; wanted to know the age of the house.
b. The time of life when a person becomes qualified to assume certain civil and personal rights and responsibilities, usually at 18 or 21 years; legal age: under age; of age.
c. One of the stages of life: the age of adolescence; at an awkward age.
d. The state of being old; old age: hair white with age.
2. often Age
a. A period of time marked by a distinctive characteristic, achievement, or figure: the Stone Age; the computer age; the Elizabethan Age.
b. A period in the history of the earth, usually shorter than an epoch: the Ice Age.
3.
a. The period of history during which a person lives: a product of his age.
b. A generation: ages yet unborn.
4. ages Informal An extended period of time: left ages ago.
v. aged, ag·ing, ag·es
v.tr.
1. To cause to become old or to show the signs of becoming old: The stress of the office visibly aged the president.
2. To cause to mature or ripen under controlled conditions: aging wine.
3. To change (the characteristics of a device) through use, especially to stabilize (an electronic device).
v.intr.
1. To become old or show signs of becoming old: Who doesn't want to age gracefully?
2. To develop a certain quality of ripeness; become mature: cheese aging at room temperature.
Phrasal Verb:
age out Informal
To reach an age, 18 or 21 years, for example, at which one is no longer eligible for certain special services, such as education or protection, from the state.
Idiom:
come of age
To reach maturity.

[Middle English, from Old French aage, from Vulgar Latin *aetāticum, from Latin aetās, aetāt-, age; see aiw- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

ager n.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2017 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
 

This website is best viewed in Chrome, Firefox, Microsoft Edge, or Safari. Some characters in pronunciations and etymologies cannot be displayed properly in Internet Explorer.