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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)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


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)
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
As major Madagascar art forms, shawls, dresses, loose-fitting shirts, and also burial shrouds are "fundamental to an individual's ethnic, ideological, spiritual, social, political, and economic identities." These and similar garments have such a place because of the "ease with which cloth can be manipulated." Among some groups in Madagascar, textiles woven by hand and simple, age-old, tools are central in relations between the living and deceased ancestors with the changing of decayed burial shrouds for new ones.
John and Susie rebel against American social norms in general and their parents in particular since both try to split them apart by forcing them to honor age-old racial taboos and stereotypes.
An age-old technique is to give a discount to customers who pay what they owe within a specified time frame, for instance, 5% off a bill paid within 30 days.
"By any measure our findings have underscored the age-old Wall Street adage: 'Earnings are opinion, cash is fact,'" Neil Baron, co-founder and chairman of Criterion Research, said in a statement.
THERE could finally be an answer to the age-old chant of "Who ate all the pies?" Apparently it is Norwich.
THERE could finally be an answer to the age-old chant of ``Who ate all the pies?'' Apparently it is Norwich.
Whether or not intended, however, Gibson's film does resurrect the age-old image of the Jew as Christ killer--a charge presumably put to rest by the Second Vatican Council in 1965.
The questions range from age-old misconceptions (such as correcting swayback) to ones of curiosity, even to the relentless denial of the need for today's voice teacher to understand the anatomy, physiology and acoustics of the singing voice.
After a bit of banter about passengers standing, as if chafing at the aisle would expedite their exit, she asked the age-old question, more personal and telling than "Where do you live?"
Die Berliner Zuckerbarin, 2002-2003, pumps transgenic milk (a sample was on view here) from a stuffed female bear (the age-old symbol of Berlin), spins it into glass filament, winds it with unraveled yarn from Berlin-themed tapestries, and wraps the resulting braid around the busts of three Berlin geneticists.
This is an age-old challenge for the marketing profession and a premise for both the new magazine and Website."
Without alluding to Spanish translations of the Ovide moralisee or, more importantly, to the poet's other usurpations of mythology--and against the editor's affirmation that the essays "destroy simplistic notions about women's passivity or activity" (3)--Ricapito clings to the belief that Galatea's presumably sinful "fall" in turn represents "an age-old problem of sexuality and its concomitant repercussions morally, religiously, and theologically" (175).