Epoch Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

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If you’ve been reading for quite some time, you’ve likely come across the term epoch before, but do you know what it means? Not to worry; The Word Counter is here to help! 

In this post, we’re exploring the English word epoch (ˈep.ək) to uncover its definition, origin, usage, and more. So, if you’ve ever wondered about this seemingly confusing term, keep reading. 

What Is the Definition of Epoch?

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, the noun epoch can be defined as a long period of time — especially one in which there are new developments as well as great change. 

In geology, our word of the day has a slightly different meaning: a unit of geological time within a period during which a series of rocks is formed, like the Pleistocene epoch. 

When used in astronomy, however, the word epoch is defined as an arbitrarily fixed instant of time or date — usually the beginning of a century — used as a reference point in giving the elements of a planetary orbit or the like. 

Additionally, epoch refers to the displacement of an oscillating or vibrating body at zero time when used in physics. 

What Is the Etymology of Epoch?

Believe it or not, our word of the day derives from Medieval Latin epocha. Yup, it’s true — the English word epoch comes from Greek Greek epochē, meaning “cessation” or “fixed point.” The word “epochē,” in turn, derives from the Greek verb epechein, meaning “to hold back” or “to pause.”

When the term epoch was first borrowed into the English language, it referred to the fixed point used to mark the start of a system of chronology. This sense is now obsolete, but today epoch is used in some fields — such as astronomy — with the meaning “an instant of time.”

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Epoch?

Now that you are better acquainted with our word of the day, it’s time to review some synonyms and antonyms. These tools won’t only better your overall understanding of the term epoch, but learning synonyms and antonyms is also a great way to enhance your existing vocabulary!


  • Time
  • Age group
  • Stage of life
  • Period
  • Time of origin
  • Stage of development
  • Time of life
  • Era
  • Point in time
  • Time interval
  • Epoch-making
  • Age
  • Span
  • Time frame
  • Period of time
  • Interval 
  • Moment in time
  • Eon
  • Stage
  • Length of existence
  • Life span
  • Peer group
  • Point in history
  • Length of life
  • Number of years
  • Coon’s age
  • Clause
  • Functioning period 
  • Decade
  • Quarter 
  • Blue moon
  • An eternity
  • Moon
  • Life
  • Tenure
  • Hour 
  • A long time
  • Length of time
  • Season 
  • Extent
  • Time in power
  • Managership 
  • Stint
  • Period as champion 
  • Cycle
  • Interval of time
  • Run 
  • Bout 
  • Amount of time 


  • Continuation
  • Future
  • Life to come
  • Time to come
  • Time ahead
  • World to come
  • Subsequent 

How Can You Use Epoch in a Sentence?

By now, you should have a pretty good understanding of our word of the day, but do you know how to use epoch in a sentence? 

Not to worry — here are a few example sentences for you to review below:

I know I aced that test; I know all there is to know about the Victorian epoch and Queen Victoria’s reign. 

Did you know that an epoch is a subdivision of a period?

You can bad-mouth modern technology all you want, but you can not deny that it is responsible for a new epoch. 

An epoch can be defined as a particular period of history or a notable event which marks the beginning of such a period.

Today in class, we were going over the Holocene epoch, and it really hit home. I just really hope we as a society can learn from what has happened in the past. 

The Civil War era was an epoch in America’s 19th century history.

Jenny knew an epoch began when she first saw the man she wanted to marry.

The birth of Jesus was the start of a major epoch of world history.

The emperor said that they were moving into a new epoch which would be one of lasting peace.

As a result of Barbara’s discoveries, an epoch of genetic manipulation was triggered.

There are a ton of people who view the development of the first antibiotic to be the epoch of the world’s therapeutic advances.

Any ideas what might define the next epoch of American life?

What Are Translations of Epoch?

Thinking about traveling outside of the country? Whether it’s for business or pleasure, don’t get caught without knowing how to say our word of the day! 

Here are some common translations of epoch:

  • Chinese — 时代
  • Catalan — època
  • Russian — эпоха
  • European Spanish — época 
  • American English — epoch
  • Brazilian Portuguese — época
  • Italian — epoca 
  • Norwegian — epoke
  • Greek — εποχή 
  • British English — epoch
  • Japanese — 時代画期的な
  • Korean — 신기원
  • European Portuguese — época 
  • Spanish — época
  • French — époque 
  • Thai — ยุค
  • German — Epoche
  • Ukrainian — вік
  • Vietnamese — giai đoạn
  • Turkish — dönem


In chronology and periodization, an epoch — also known as a reference epoch — is an instant in time chosen as the origin of a particular calendar era. The term epoch serves as a reference point from which time is measured. 

When used in physics, however, the term epoch can be defined as the displacement from zero at zero time of a body undergoing simple harmonic motion. 

Want to discover the definitions behind more complex terms? Head on over to our website where you’ll find informative blogs, helpful grammar tips, and useful tools. 

Whether you’re hoping to make sense of a confusing slang word or simply hoping to increase your existing vocabulary, you can always count on us to have you covered. 


Epoch Synonyms | Collins English Language Thesaurus 

EPOCH: definition | Cambridge English Dictionary

Epoch Definition & Meaning | Britannica Dictionary