1. Education
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.



Definition: 1. Abbreviation for Anno Domini - Latin for The Year Of Our Lord - used in the Gregorian Calendar to refer to the current era. A date such as 1945 A.D. literally means 'the 1945th year of our lord', the lord in question being Jesus Christ, providing a religious context and clearly distinguishing the time from an earlier era, where B.C is used instead. The use of A.D. was popularised by Bede.

Modern historical research suggests the current A.D. date is actually wrong, as Jesus was born 4-7 years earlier than the year 1 date the Gregorian Calendar works from. However, in the modern age the actual meaning of A.D. is widely forgotten or misunderstood and the term simply signifies a different era from B.C.

Increasingly replaced with C.E.

2. In the First World War AD was the Allgemeines Kriegs-Department, the 'General' Department of the German War Ministry.

Also Known As: Anno ab incarnatione Domini
Alternate Spellings: AD
Common Misspellings: 'After Death'. As A.D. refers to Christ's birth, not his death, this expansion is wholly erroneous.
The Battle of Hastings was fought in 1066 A.D.
  1. About.com
  2. Education
  3. European History

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.