epoch: Meaning and Definition of


Pronunciation: (ep'uk or, esp. Brit., ē'pok), [key]
— n.
  1. a particular period of time marked by distinctive features, events, etc.: The treaty ushered in an epoch of peace and good will.
  2. the beginning of a distinctive period in the history of anything: The splitting of the atom marked an epoch in scientific discovery.
  3. a point of time distinguished by a particular event or state of affairs; a memorable date: His coming of age was an epoch in his life.
  4. any of several divisions of a geologic period during which a geologic series is formed. Cf. age (def. 12). See table under
    1. an arbitrarily fixed instant of time or date, usually the beginning of a century or half century, used as a reference in giving the elements of a planetary orbit or the like.
    2. the mean longitude of a planet as seen from the sun at such an instant or date.
  5. the displacement from zero at zero time of a body undergoing simple harmonic motion.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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