A century is a period of 100 years, while a centenary is an anniversary of something that happened 100 years ago.
What is a century?
A century is a period of 100 years. Centuries are numbered ordinally, so there is no “0th” century.
What is a centenary?
A centenary is an anniversary of sorts, marking 100 years since a significant event. The word can refer to people (a centenarian is someone who has reached the age of 100), buildings (The Empire State Building turned 100 in 2013), or nations (South Africa celebrated its centenary in 2010).
Examples of each
There are a few key differences between a century and a centenary. For one, a century is defined as a period of 100 years, while a centenary is defined as an anniversary of 100 years. Additionally, a century can refer to a specific 100-year period in history or any group of 100 years, while a centenary always refers to an anniversary. Finally, while both words can be used as adjectives, only century can be used as a noun.
A century is a period of 100 years, while a centenary is a commemoration or celebration of something that happened 100 years ago. For example, the 20th century refers to the period from 1901-2000, while the centenary of the United States would refer to events commemorating the country’s 100th anniversary in 1876.
Here are some examples of each:
Century: The 20th century was marked by two world wars and the rise of the modernist movement in art and culture.
A Centenary: This year marks the 100th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, which ended World War I.
Photo by Romario Roges: https://www.pexels.com/photo/100-years-old-12030880/