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I am looking for a single word which refers to the important events of a person's life. This might include birth, marriage, changing jobs, or anything else that the person feels is significant, but preferably when observed by looking at one's entire life.

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up vote 16 down vote accepted

A common word for these events is a milestone:

An important event, as in a person's career, the history of a nation, or the advancement of knowledge in a field; a turning point.

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This was the first word that came to my mind, too. After I upvoted your answer, I looked up milestone in the thesaurus. The only other suitable word I found there was highlight; the others (like landmark and benchmark) didn't seem as well-suited for this context. – J.R. Jan 10 '13 at 10:37

The term used in Health and Social care for things that happen during your life is your 'life course', like the different paths you take in your life-some planned and some unplanned. Sometimes your life takes a different path than planned, which happens to us all at one point or another.

A specific event that you'd expect someone to have is a 'milestone', such as their first steps, finishing school, getting their first job, getting married, having children etc.

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Milestone is really good, but it's already been suggested by Simchona. – Mari-Lou A Nov 10 '14 at 3:58

I believe a possible word to describe this is monumental.

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Welcome to EL&U. As the Help Center points out, we prefer answers which are descriptive and include suitable references and links. In other words, please describe why you believe monumental is particularly apt. – choster Feb 28 '14 at 16:31
Seminal might work too. – user116032 Feb 15 at 20:25



an important portion or division of anything

The wedding opened a new chapter in my life



a point of time, especially one made critical or important by a concurrence of circumstances:

The death of Batman's parents was a critical and irreversible juncture in his life.



  1. an important, conspicuous, memorable, or enjoyable event, scene, part, or the like
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crossroads… describes a turning point in one's life.

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This answer would be better if it included sourced quotes of where this word is used this way. – jejorda2 Feb 16 at 1:57

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