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Turn of the century
, in its broadest sense, refers to the transition from one century to another. The term is most often used to indicate a non-specific time period either before or after the beginning of a century.
Where no specific century is stated, the term usually refers to the transition from the 19th century into the 20th century (1890–1914): a novel referring to "turn of the century England," indicates England, circa 1900.
According to the Chicago Manual of Style, there is no common agreement about the phrase "turn of the ____th century." For instance, if a statement describes an event as taking place "at the turn of the 18th century", it could refer to a period around the year 1700 or one around the year 1800. As such, they recommend using only "turn of the century," and only in a context that makes clear which transition is meant.
The period around the turn of the 1st century of a millennium can also be called the "turn of the millennium". For example, the period 1981-2020 can be described both as the "turn of the 21st century" and the "turn of the third millennium".
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