For the Ages: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
September 4, 2023

"For the ages" is an idiom that means something memorable, noteworthy, or impressive and will be remembered or admired for a long time.

In short:

  • It means something amazing that will last in memory.
  • It can also mean that something is very special and could be one in a million.

What Does "For the Ages" Mean?

The phrase "for the ages" is an idiomatic expression that refers to something that will stand the test of time and will be remembered or regarded for years to come. It is usually used to describe something that leaves a lasting impact on people's minds or hearts.

Where Does "For the Ages" Come From?

The origin and history of the idiom "for the ages" are unclear, but there are some possible explanations. One theory is that it comes from the Latin phrase "ad aeternitatem," which means "for eternity" or "forever." Ancient Romans used this phrase to describe something meant to last forever or be immortalized.

10 Examples of "For the Ages" in Sentences

Here are some examples of how to use "for the ages" and its variations in different sentences:

  • No diggity. The final match between Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal was a tennis battle for the ages.
  • She delivered a speech for the ages that inspired hundreds of people. She's a beacon of light to everyone.
  • My jaw dropped. The movie was a masterpiece for the ages, with stunning visuals and captivating performances.
  • Quite frankly, he wrote her a love letter for the ages, making her cry tears of joy.
  • Lo and behold, the book was a literary classic for the ages, with rich characters and a compelling story.
  • She painted a portrait for the ages, capturing the essence and beauty of her subject. I have no words for how perfect it is.
  • Son of a biscuit! He scored a goal for the ages, dribbling past four defenders and shooting from outside the box.
  • The concert was a musical extravaganza for the ages, featuring some of the most talented artists of our time.
  • What can I say? She baked a cake for the ages with layers of chocolate, cream, and fruit.
  • The pyramids of Egypt are monuments for the ages, standing tall for thousands of years.

Examples of "For the Ages" in Pop Culture

Pop culture often uses the idiom "for the ages" and its variations.

Here are some examples of how this idiom has appeared in pop culture:

  • The Godfather (1972) is a film "for the ages," as it is widely regarded as one of the greatest and most influential movies of all time. It won three Academy Awards and spawned two sequels that are also considered classics.
  • Michael Jackson's Thriller (1982) is an album "for the ages," as it is the best-selling album of all time, with over 66 million copies sold worldwide. It also broke racial barriers and revolutionized music videos with its iconic title track.
  • Harry Potter (1997-2007) is a book series "for the ages," as it is the best-selling book series of all time, with over 500 million copies sold worldwide. It also spawned a successful film franchise and a global fandom that continues to grow.
  • Beyonc√©'s performance at Coachella 2018 was a concert "for the ages," as it was hailed as one of the best live performances ever. It featured a stunning display of choreography, vocals, and cultural references and was dubbed "Beychella" by fans.

Other Ways to Say "For the Ages"

  • eternally relevant
  • enduringly significant
  • timelessly impactful
  • lasting through generations
  • perpetually influential

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "For the Ages"

  • What does "for the ages" mean?

"For the ages" is an idiom that means something memorable, noteworthy, or impressive and will be remembered or admired for a long time.

  • What is the origin of the phrase "for the ages"?

The origin and history of the idiom "for the ages" are unclear, but there are some possible explanations. One theory is that it comes from the Latin phrase "ad aeternitatem," which means "for eternity" or "forever." Ancient Romans used this phrase to describe something meant to last forever or be immortalized.

  • Can "for the ages" refer to both events and objects?

Absolutely, it can apply to achievements, creations, and moments that have a lasting impact.

  • Are there different ways to express the same sentiment?

Yes, variations like "enduringly significant" convey similar meanings.

  • How does the phrase "for the ages" relate to human aspirations?

It reflects humanity's innate desire to create something that transcends time.

  • Are there modern examples of things "for the ages"?

Yes, things like technological breakthroughs and cultural movements fall under this category.

  • Does "for the ages" imply universal appeal?

While it suggests wide influence, the degree of impact can vary.

  • Can individuals be "for the ages," too?

Yes, people like leaders, thinkers, and artists can leave legacies that endure.

  • Is "for the ages" always positive?

Not necessarily, it signifies enduring significance regardless of whether it's positive or negative.

  • Can a short-lived phenomenon be considered "for the ages"?

No, the phrase implies a long-lasting and enduring impact.

Final Thoughts about "For the Ages"

The idiom "for the ages" encapsulates the timeless essence of creations, events, and achievements that transcend the limitations of their time. It reminds us of the human desire for enduring recognition and the aspiration to contribute to a legacy that spans generations.

In summary:

  • It conveys that whatever is being described will be remembered, appreciated, and valued for long.
  • It also suggests that the subject matter is not fleeting or temporary but possesses qualities that resonate across eras.
  • Lastly, the idiom is a powerful reminder of the potential impact of our actions, creations, and decisions on history, serving as a motivating force to strive for significance that resonates beyond the present moment.
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