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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
Era \E"ra\, n.; pl. Eras. [LL. aera an era, in earlier usage, the items of an account, counters, pl. of aes, aeris, brass, money. See Ore.] 1. A fixed point of time, usually an epoch, from which a series of years is reckoned. [1913 Webster] The foundation of Solomon's temple is conjectured by Ideler to have been an era. --R. S. Poole. [1913 Webster] 2. A period of time reckoned from some particular date or epoch; a succession of years dating from some important event; as, the era of Alexander; the era of Christ, or the Christian era (see under Christian). [1913 Webster] The first century of our era. --M. Arnold. [1913 Webster] 3. A period of time in which a new order of things prevails; a signal stage of history; an epoch. [1913 Webster] Painting may truly be said to have opened the new era of culture. --J. A. Symonds. Syn: Epoch; time; date; period; age; dispensation. See Epoch. [1913 Webster]