Sports writers room fond that saying the the retirement of someone or other marks “the end of one era.”

What is an era? and also is it different from an epoch? What around an eon?

All three words denote a duration of time. All three have committed meanings for geologists. Right here are your most common meanings and connotations.

Both era and epoch signify measurement.

You are watching: Time span shorter than an era

In the sports writer’s usage, an era is a period in the background of a sport. The is a time throughout which a certain player, manager, or feature may be watched to typify the sport: the Babe Ruth era, the Casey Stengel era, the era that steroid use.

In the historical sense, an era deserve to be a duration of time marked by a certain beginning date: the roman inn era (beginning through the classic founding day of 750 BCE.), the Christian era (beginning v the bear of Jesus of Nazareth, now thought to have been 4 BCE), or the Muslim era (beginning v Mohammed’s trip from Mecca come Medina in 622 CE).

An epoch, (not come be confused with epic), choose an era, is a period of time. An epoch is longer than an era and can cover more than one lifetime. That is marked by some significant development or series of developments: the feudal epoch, the date of exploration.

An eon is a very long time indeed. The is the longest period of geology time. Geologists subdivide an eon right into eras. A geology era is subdivided right into periods, epochs, and also stages.

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22 Responses come “Time Words: Era, Epoch, and also Eon”

cynthiaon December 28, 2007 9:16 am

I’m a small confused. Due to the fact that “An date is longer than an era”, how come “A geology era is subdivided right into epochs”?

Daniel Scoccoon December 28, 2007 9:56 am

Hmmm, an excellent questions indeed, let’s wait Maeve come clarify.

Maeveon December 28, 2007 2:14 pm

As i say above, ” All three have devoted meanings because that geologists.” Geologists need to have some device in order to talk around the enormous units of time they transaction with. In their device an era is longer than one epoch.

In non-geological consumption an epoch is generally felt come be longer than an era since the date is checked out to head the era. The epoch marks the beginning of something far-reaching to human being beings, because that example, the earliest use of fire for cooking.

Here’s exactly how H.W.Fowler place it:An date is the day of an incident that starts points going under new conditions.An era is the time during which the problems started at an date continue.

Daniel Scoccoon December 29, 2007 9:48 am

Got it!

timon December 31, 2007 2:45 am

Thanks because that the post!Just one question.I read/heard around the word, “aeon”. Is that just a different way of order “eon”? Or is it a different word all together?

Maeveon December 31, 2007 4:03 pm

Tim,Aeon is the exact same word. It suggests an even longer period to me!

timon January 01, 2008 2:26 pm

Aha! give thanks to you!

cynthiaon January 02, 2008 2:09 am

Got it. Thanks, Maeve!

Joeon September 12, 2009 12:32 am

Is there a deffinite lot of years linked with eon or is it different with anyone meashures with it?

Maeveon September 23, 2009 4:22 pm

Joe,number of years in one eon — here’s an interpretation 4 in OED:

. Geol. And also Astr. One thousand million years.

Patrickon may 19, 2011 4:37 pm

What is the actual measurement with time of an eon?

xXdRaKeXdArSenXxon October 25, 2011 2:54 am

Uhmm..I believed Super eon is the longest unit of time in geologic time scale were as split into two significant Eon the precambrian and also Cambrian..please correct me if what I understand was incorrect

Breed7on February 21, 2012 5:05 am

Once again, Maeve presents contradictory and also incorrect information in an article. Amazing exactly how someone v so tiny actual knowledge of the English language deserve to pretend come be together an authority.

An epoch is not generally thought about to it is in a longer period of time than an era.

An epoch is a period of time that can be defined by one event, and also can it is in as brief as the occasion itself. One era is a period of time in between epochs. These room not the geological definitions, however the generally-accepted supplies for day-to-day English.

Maeveon February 22, 2012 12:21 pm

Breed7,If I have misdefined “epoch,” girlfriend are certainly right to speak to me on it. To suggest that i habitually pecking incorrect info without giving me with particular examples is less than helpful. I’d be thankful if you would send me a perform of the short articles that you feel contain contradictory and incorrect information. My email is

Shippon September 10, 2013 4:59 pm

An aeon is precisely 1,000,000,000 years, simply as an date is a measure of time because that a specific event. Such as the ‘Thirty Year War’, or when Queen Elizabeth climbed to power. I think neither of you space incorrect, due to the fact that both meanings coincide in ~ the meaning of the word. It’s simply a subjective manner in which the writer chooses to usage the word.

Davidon July 16, 2017 9:22 pm

Why has this post still no been revised? it is usual knowledge the an Era is longer than an epoch as an date is a subdivision of an Era. You need to clarify that an date may, in ~ times, exceed the size of an Era however generally speak is not thought about to.

Dale A. Woodon October 17, 2017 3:33 pm

Era, Epoch, and Eon — Duh?Since Queen Elizabeth ns was mentioned, her time is referred to as “the Elizabethan Age”. Us now resided in the second Elizabethan Age.There to be the “Victorian Age”, and also “The age of the Dinosaurs”, too.Also, the “Era of the Pharaohs”, the “Epoch of the Mongol Khans”, the “Epoch the the Tsars”, and the “Era of the cave man”.I think that the intake is frequently idiomatic.“The rock Age”, “The bronze Age”, “The stole Age”.You have likewise discounted (ignored) the possibility of exaggeration, e.g. “I had to wait because that eons in ~ the dentist’s office.”e.g. “It seemed choose Franklin D. Roosevelt was the President because that an eon.”“The Georgian Age”, which additionally included the regime of wilhelm IV, since he was surrounding by George I, George II, George III, and George IV.D.A.W.

Jeremyon April 14, 2020 3:06 pm

I still dont obtain the difference. Girlfriend only described how they are similar.

Some random Guyon April 26, 2020 3:38 am

If you were to visualize it in occasions then here are the breakdowns….

Age is identified by…well Age.Like… The arrival of pistol powder resulted in the finish of The good Swiss Pikemen Era who were vicious mercenaries recognized to imperial worlds in europe till the 16th Century or you might say Mongol Era destroyed and also swept the entirety eurasian and all of europe in the Feudal age of mongol expansion.

There’s also this native Saga…The Saga in between Constantine vs Saladin took a long time battle and also a the majority of lives in the period of the roman Empire, it was for both faction, one Era for spiritual Cause.The begin of the Abrahamic religious beliefs was the epoch in time for organized theocracy that grew in kingdoms v a politics nature of feudalism, imperialism and colonialism extending from the Medieval period to Pre-Industrial Age, that which then come the Revolutionary Era where major events readjusted such as political equipment from kingship to individuals marching for independence through the border of various style of governing in distinction parts the the world, an date in time where governing religions decline in many parts the the world.

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The beings of planet living for Eons gradually ending up being intelligent in using devices to create homes and families, most notably the Humans, that made civilizations from Nomadic age to the current Information Age, there were ages of war, famine and plague. This is the epoch in time the revolves roughly trade and also settlements.

/////÷//Note:Some historic info probably incorrect but thats how i can give instance in sentence in between era, epoch, eon and age.