- or B.C.Abbreviation for "Before Christ." Conventionally placed after a number standing for a year computed by counting back from the year once thought to be the year Christ was born. He is now most commonly thought to have been born three or four years earlier. BCE is used to the same purpose as BC, and avoids the overtly Christian bias inherent in BC. Although this system of numbering years is the globally dominant system, some cultures name years according to other schemes. Also see AD or A.D., AH or A.H., andCE or C.E.
Glossary of Art Terms. 2014.