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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 ?
Coming of Age programs help people 50+ explore possibilities, impact communities, connect with others, and chart pathways to a fulfilling, engaged future.
The 52-year-old said: "There's no need for them to go to a coming of age ceremony.
These visual records could provide additional insight into how the adolescent experiences of young Jewish women both "resembled those of countless other boys and girls coming of age in America at the turn of the century" and were "shaped by their Judaism and Jewishness.
Tackling such issues as sexual harassment, homophobia, and HIV, Sanchez's novels "also tell universal stories of friendship, love, coming of age, and being true to yourself," he says.
It is also the tale of innocence lost, coming of age under life or death circumstances, and learning to trust one's own instincts and others.
In chapter four, the author examines in considerable detail Annie Dillard's An American Childhood and Anne Moody's Coming of Age in Mississippi.
Dirda is now a Pulitzer Prize winner and editor of The Washington Post Book World, and 'An Open Book: Coming of Age in the Heartland' is as much thank you note to the written word as it is autobiography, reports the Miami Herald.
Nierenberg interlaces his story of gospel's coming of age with plenty of foot-pounding, handclapping tunes that let out the Spirit and shake down the rafters.
Mamzelle Dragonfly is a coming of age story, sharply written, without apology.
It means a coming of age story, and that is exactly what the process of dissertation is meant to be.
Few would deny that Margaret Mead's Coming of Age in Samoa (1928) is a flawed volume, and from his careful review of both Mead's book and her Samoan fieldwork materials, Martin Orans concludes 'she did not present sufficient or adequately representative data to support her generalizations.
Now eighty-three, and a member of the fastest-growing age group in the United States, Studs gives us Coming of Age, sixty-nine interviews with sundry old people who have two things in common: they have beaten the biblical odds of three score and ten years (the oldest is ninety-nine), and they are not now, nor have they ever been, bystanders at life.