a (first/second/19th/etc.)-century (something)

When English speakers say "20th century", it means the years from 1901-2000. Similarly, "18th century" is 1701-1800, and "first centry" is 1-100 A.D.

You can use this phrase as an adjective like this:

They discovered the sunken remains of a fifteenth-century trading ship.

They didn't have our modern 21st-century conveniences back then.

Without the hyphen ("-"), you can use this phrase as a noun too:

They've been fighting off and on since the 17th century.

This phrase appears in these lessons: