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a. a period of history marked by some feature or characteristic; era
b. (capital when part of a name): the Middle Ages; the Space Age
2. Geology palaeontol
a. a period of the earth's history distinguished by special characteristics
b. the period during which a stage of rock strata is formed; a subdivision of an epoch
3. Myth any of the successive periods in the legendary history of man, which were, according to Hesiod, the golden, silver, bronze, heroic, and iron ages
4. Psychol the level in years that a person has reached in any area of development, such as mental or emotional, compared with the normal level for his chronological age
5. of age adult and legally responsible for one's actions (usually at 18 or, formerly, 21 years)



in humans, a stage of development that is characterized by specific regularities of formation of the organism and personality and by relatively stable morphophysiological and psychological traits. While age is a stage in the biological maturing of the organism, a process controlled by genetic factors, it is also a concrete result and stage of the social-psychological development of the personality and is determined by the conditions of life, training, and upbringing.

The content and form of training and upbringing are historically composed and varied according to age; in their turn they affect the determination of the boundaries and possibilities of a given age. In contemporary pedagogy and developmental psychology, several ages are differentiated with respect to the known relationships of the boundaries: infancy (from birth to one year); pre-preschool, or early childhood (from one to three); preschool (from three to seven); early school age (from seven to ten years); juvenile, or middle school (from ten to 15); and late school, or early youth (15 to 18 years old). Beyond these limits there is no generally accepted classification in the literature; only old age is considered separately. With the increased longevity noted in the 20th century, gerontology and gerontopsychology have arisen as disciplines to study the problems of prolonging the active life of a human being. Each age has a characteristic structure of cognitive, emotional, and volitional properties and qualities; forms of behavior; types of relationships to the environment; and peculiarities of structure and functioning of various organs and systems of the organism. This structure, however, is not invariable: in the 20th century a general acceleration of the physical and mental development of children has been noted. On the other hand, educational theory, in solving the problem of optimizing training, widens the possibilities of age and the boundaries of acquiring knowledge. Training must take into account not only the level of development achieved but also the development perspectives (the concept of “zones of imminent development,” as formulated by L. S. Vygotskii): the teacher must know not only what is present in a child of a given age but also what can be achieved, given certain conditions, by the child in the near future.



Period of time from origin or birth to a later time designated or understood; length of existence.
Any one of the named epochs in the history of the earth marked by specific phases of physical conditions or organic evolution, such as the Age of Mammals.
One of the smaller subdivisions of the epoch as geologic time, corresponding to the stage or the formation, such as the Lockport Age in the Niagara Epoch.


(aerospace engineering)
References in periodicals archive ?
This transformation is an interesting reconceptualization or subversion of the makeover that often occurs in coming of age films; the makeover scenes in films can involve teenaged girls like Tai in Clueless who are transformed from unfashionable to chic or even zombie characters like the male protagonist R in Warm Bodies who is made to look more human with the generous application of makeup; Axl's transformation happens in a more mysterious manner, and he does not initially think it is a desirable transformation, but the metamorphosis does allow him to develop some insight into how women perceive men.
The Coming of Age Day tradition may reach as far back as the 700s, though its more modern interpretation began in the 1600s.
Did you mark your coming of age with a celebration or spiritual ceremony?
95, Ages 11 & up Heartwarming collection of coming of age short stories.
Coming of age tales usually focus on becoming a responsible, respectful member of society--not a sarcastic smarty pants.
A powerful true story about coming of age and learning to define oneself, as surely as it is a no-holds-barred firsthand account of the terrors and challenges of the European Theater of World War II, Time at War is highly recommended.
Suddenly Ashley's forced into a move to an old camper, takes a job in a quirky San Francisco coffee shop, and explores a side of life she never knew existed in this warm coming of age story.
The Last Gentleman Adventurer: Coming Of Age In The Arctic tells how he became immersed in Inuit culture, revealing his slow coming of age in a remote, harsh world and his evolution from a idealistic boy to a man who helps his Inuit friends when an epidemic threatens.
Some local leaders see McClintock and Richman's viability as a sign of the Santa Clarita Valley's political coming of age.
The coming of age includes a fairly explicit sexual encounter.
With Train Whistle Guitar, Murry shifts from the nonfictional mode to the semi-fictional account of his coming of age.
Sepracor (NASDAQ:SEPR) is coming of age with self-developed products and its own sales force.