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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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.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 ?
Although the definition of child marriage includes boys, most children married at <18 years of age are girls.
For this age group, 25 suicides occurred per 100,000 individuals; for those 70 to 74 years of age, 30 people per 100,000 took their own lives; and for those from 75 to 84 years old, the number continued to climb until peaking for individuals 85 and older, where 65 per 100,000 committed suicide.
Because indications for surgery and the risks of postoperative complications appear to change depending on the patient's age, the use of a common system of age classification would be helpful.
Using the 121 reported deaths from 1995 to the end of 2002, I obtained similar shapes for the estimated influence of age on risk for infection (Figure a) or on risk for death (Figure b), with both showing strong peaks.
This restructuring of work incentives, work options and benefits packages needed is found to benefit all workers regardless of age, disability, sex, and cultural background.
Many older persons continue to work well past the age of 55 years of age, and many may make career changes (Deutsch & Sawyer, 1986).
Of the 282 women in the SWHS cohort who were premenarcheal at the time of the explosion on 10 July 1976, 84 women were < 5 years of age. The mean age of menarche reported for the 84 women was 12.6 [+ or -] 1.5 years, and the median lipid-adjusted serum TCDD level was 233 ppt (range, 3.6-56,000 ppt).
The age distribution of DHF cases showed that, in the 1993 epidemic, children 5-9 years of age had the largest proportion of cases, whereas in 2001, the peak age of those infected was 10-14 years.
The (perinatal) mortality risks associated with age of the mother are generally U-shaped, mortality among young and old mothers being at a maximum.(45) To take into account the parabolic relationship between age of the mother and mortality of the child, age as well as the squared value of age was entered into the equation.
Traditionally, the State-Federal Vocational Rehabilitation program restricted service to those of working age, which was defined as 16-64 years of age (Bahcall & Berven, 1986).
The researchers conducted home evaluations on 111 Romanian children at ages 4 and 6 who were adopted by 2 years of age and 52 British children adopted by 6 months of age.
"Our research shows that a sufficient amount of daily, deliberate practice can suspend any observable age-related declines in expert musical performance, at least until around 65 years of age," Ericsson holds.