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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
The mean ([+ or -] SD) of birth weight, head circumference, and gestational age across all cohorts were 3,257 [+ or -] 480.9 g, 342.9 [+ or -] 15.0 mm, 39.6 [+ or -] 1.7 weeks, respectively.
Reliability of Ultrasound Fetometry in Estimating Gestational Age in the Second Trimester.
Obtained results show that its possible to predict the gestational age with a deviation of as low as [+ or -] 5 to [+ or -] 7 days using BPD measurements.
SGA was defined as birth weight < 10th percentile for gestational age using the Lubchenko growth curves.
Stillbirth cases were excluded if the gestational age was unknown (n=20 786, 46.9%) or if the estimated age was considered 'uncertain' (n=8 750, 19.7%).
Disparities in receipt of breast milk by gestational age could be explained by multiple factors.
Large for gestational age was defined as weight above 90th centile for gestational age, SGA as weight below the 10th centile for gestational age and appropriate for gestational age (AGA) as weight between the 10th and 90th centiles for gestational age
Management of the child born small for gestational age through to adulthood: a consensus statement of the International Societies of Pediatric Endocrinology and the Growth Hormone Research Society J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2007;92:804-810.
Birth weight and perinatal mortality: the effect of gestational age. Am J Public Health 1992;82(3):378-82.
Looking specifically at outcomes stratified by gestational age, they found an increased risk of congenital malformations, infectious diseases, and cardiovascular or respiratory out comes, with adjusted ORs from 1.30 to 2.61, in the data published in the journal.
The technique can also be used to estimate a foetus's gestational age -- or the mother's due date -- as reliably as and less expensively than ultrasound, the researchers said.