The Meaning of CE: What It Is and How To Use It

Your writing, at its best

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free, writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant

Perhaps you have seen the abbreviation CE used after a number and wondered what it meant. This article will teach you what this word of the day stands for, its origin, and how to use it. 

What Does CE Usually Stand For?

According to Antidote, the term CE stands for the common era. This abbreviation is used in the Non-Christian dating system. This term is used in conjunction with the term BCE, which stands for before the common era. 

The term CE refers to the same number of years as AD, the years since Jesus Christ was born. The use of BCE and CE in the year numbering system is the international standard and is religiously neutral.

What Is the Origin of the Term CE?

The original numbering system for years was BC and AD. AD stood for the Anno Domini, and BC stands for Before Christ. Anno domini means the year of the Lord or year of our Lord in Latin.

BC refers to the years prior to the birth of Jesus Christ in the Christian calendar. This numbering system was invented by the Christian monk Dionysius Exiguus and was later standardized by the Gregorian calendar and Julian calendar. 

According to Thought Co, the terms BC/AD became controversial in the 1990s as people began to wonder why the general public would use Christian terms for years when not everyone is Christian.

Some people argue that most of the word uses a Christian calendar system, so it makes sense to use Christian terminology. Others proposed religious neutrality using BCE/CE for inclusion.

What Else Can CE Stand For?

According to The Free Dictionary, CE has many other potential meanings than the common era in American English. Read on below to learn all about what else the term CE can stand for! Since CE has so many potential meanings, don’t be afraid to clarify or ask someone else to clarify if you do not know what they mean by CE. 

CE Meanings in Technology

In technology, CE has many different meanings, so it’s important to clarify if you’re using the term CE in this industry. 

  • Collaborative Enterprises
  • Computational Epidemiology 
  • Certificate Enrollment
  • Catalysis Engineering 
  • Customer Edge (IETF RFC 2547)
  • Concept Exploration (phase)
  • Copy Exactly (Intel)
  • Computing Element
  • Cyber-Entity
  • Concept Evaluation
  • Content Engine (Cisco)
  • Connection Endpoint
  • Cross-Entropy Method
  • Common Environment
  • Component Engineer
  • Crystal Enterprise
  • Computing Environment (Digest)
  • Critical Error
  • Cache Enabler
  • Concept Engineering
  • Century Edition
  • Chip Enable
  • Certification Extension
  • Connection Element
  • Computer Engineer
  • Computer Engineering
  • Criterion for Elimination
  • Circuit Edge
  • Content Express
  • Computers and Education (journal)
  • Channel Equipment
  • Collision Elimination
  • Computational Element
  • Cheat Engine (open-source software)
  • Community Edition (software)

CE Meanings in Government

If you work in politics or for the government, you might hear CE stand for one of the below. 

  • Capabilities Exchange
  • Construction Engineers (Canadian Forces Base)
  • Combat Engineers (US DoD)
  • Capital Expenditure
  • Conseil d’Etat (Luxembourg)
  • Civil Environment
  • Comprehensive Evaluation
  • Casualty Estimation (US DoD)
  • Compromising Emanations
  • Clutter Eliminator
  • Counter-Espionage
  • Civil Engineer
  • Communications Element
  • Change Evaluation
  • Conditional Exemption 
  • Compliance and Enforcement
  • Comunidade Europeia (Portuguese: European Community)
  • Communications Equipment
  • Ceará (Brazilian state)
  • Commercial Entity
  • Command Entity
  • Commanders Evaluation
  • Civilian Enterprise
  • Office of Conservation and Renewable Energy
  • Current Expendable (NASA)
  • Civil Emergency
  • Cumulative Exposure Model
  • City Executive
  • Campaign Evaluation
  • Communauté Européenne
  • Collateral Enclave
  • Combined Endeavor (interoperability exercise)
  • Sri Lanka
  • Current Estimate
  • (USN Rating) Construction Electrician
  • Conditionally Exempt Generator (environment)
  • Command Element
  • Comunidad Europea 
  • Corps Eligible
  • Combat Excavator
  • Combat Element
  • Communications Electronics
  • Crisis Establishment
  • Comunita Europea
  • Corps of Engineers
  • Civil Engineering
  • Current Exploitation
  • Caserta, Campania (Italian province)
  • Communications Enhancement (various organizations)

CE Meanings in Science

Scientists could use CE to stand for any of the below definitions!

  • Combustion Engineering
  • Cataract Extraction
  • Camera Electronics
  • Commutator End
  • Cell Envelope
  • Convergent Extension
  • Chronometer Error
  • Conjugated Estrogen
  • Capillary Electrophoresis
  • Current Electrode
  • Contact Explosive
  • Christian Era
  • Corpo Elementare 
  • Central Engineering 
  • Configuration Engineering
  • Combinatorial Extension
  • Certified Engineer
  • Clinical Engineering
  • Cystic Echinococcosis
  • Chemical Energy
  • Compliance Engineering
  • Cubicle Exhaust
  • Cholesterol Ester
  • Circuit Emulation
  • Calibration Error
  • Customer Engineer
  • Combustion Efficiency
  • Capsule Endoscopy
  • Contrast Enhancement
  • Capture Effect
  • Conducted Emission
  • Common Emitter
  • Chartered Engineer
  • Concurrent Engineering
  • Chief Engineer
  • Calving Ease
  • Conceptual Engineering (design phase)
  • Cognitive Ergonomics
  • Contagious Ecthyma 
  • Carbon Equivalent
  • Conservation of Energy
  • Control Engineering
  • Constant Effect
  • Circular Error
  • Concept Element
  • Core Experiment
  • Chemical Engineer
  • Center for Epidemiological Research
  • Critical Element

CE Meanings in Business

In the business sector, you might see CE stand for one of the below, so be on the lookout for one of these many meanings.

  • Cost Estimate
  • Color Edition (Texas Instruments)
  • Correct Error
  • Chief Executive
  • China Export
  • Consumption Entry 
  • Client Executive (salesperson)
  • Case Equivalent (beer industry measurement)
  • Customer Experience
  • Career Education
  • Center of Excellence
  • Classe Élémentaire
  • Comisión Europea (Spanish)
  • College English
  • Change Estimate (construction industry)
  • Christian Education
  • Christian Error
  • Cash Earnings
  • Capital Equipment
  • Continuously Enrolled
  • Cost-Effective/Effectiveness
  • Cedar Environmental (Lebanon)
  • Counseling Enriched (special education)
  • Creative Editing
  • Conformité Européenne 
  • Capcom Entertainment (Japan)
  • Comité d’Entreprise (French)
  • Christian Endeavor
  • Cooperative Extension
  • Chinese Economy
  • Council of Europe
  • Collectors Edition
  • Commemorative Edition
  • Collective Evolution
  • Comunique Europeenne (French)
  • Church of England
  • Cincinnati Enquirer
  • Current Events
  • Communications Engineering, Inc.
  • Continuing Education
  • Custom Edition
  • Coupon Expense
  • Common Entrance (England schools)
  • Colegio Cabaña Escondida (Guatemalan school)
  • Cheap Edition (cars)
  • Casio Electronics (Japan)
  • Canadian Embassy
  • Cost Element (accounting)
  • Conseiller en Emploi (French)

Slang Meanings of CE

There are even a few slang meanings of CE you might hear!

  • Combat Evolved (game)
  • Crystal Era (gaming)
  • Cosmic Encounter (game)
  • Christopher Eccleston (British actor)
  • Cosmic Era (Gundam gaming)
  • Current English
  • Clint Eastwood (actor)
  • Cosmic Encounters (game)
  • Chaotic Evil


The definition of CE is common era. In the English language, this term is used to refer to the current year.


CE – What does CE stand for? | The Free English Dictionary 

Should We Use AD or CE? | Thought Co 

BC and AD, BCE and CE: What’s the Difference? | Antidote