Common Era or Current Era (CE) is one of the notation systems for the world's most widely used calendar era. BCE (Before the Common Era or Before the Current Era) is the era before CE. BCE and CE are alternatives to the Dionysian BC and AD system respectively. The Dionysian era distinguishes eras using AD (anno Domini, "[the] year of [the] Lord") and BC ("before Christ"). Since the two notation systems are numerically equivalent, "2019 CE" corresponds to "AD 2019" and "400 BCE" corresponds to "400 BC". Both notations refer to the Gregorian calendar (and its predecessor, the Julian calendar). The year-numbering system used by the Gregorian calendar is used throughout the world today, and is an international standard for civil calendars.
The expression has been traced back to 1615, when it first appeared in a book by Johannes Kepler as the Latin usage annus aerae nostrae vulgaris, and to 1635 in English as "Vulgar Era". The term "Common Era" can be found in English as early as 1708, and became more widely used in the mid-19th century by Jewish religious scholars. In the later 20th century, the use of CE and BCE was popularized in academic and scientific publications as a culturally neutral term. It is also used by some authors and publishers who wish to emphasize sensitivity to non-Christians, by not explicitly referencing Jesus as "Christ" and Dominus ("Lord") through use of the abbreviation "AD".