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holiday

[hol-i-dey]
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noun
  1. a day fixed by law or custom on which ordinary business is suspended in commemoration of some event or in honor of some person.
  2. any day of exemption from work (distinguished from working day).
  3. a time or period of exemption from any requirement, duty, assessment, etc.: New businesses may be granted a one-year tax holiday.
  4. a religious feast day; holy day, especially any of several usually commemorative holy days observed in Judaism.
  5. Sometimes holidays. Chiefly British. a period of cessation from work or one of recreation; vacation.
  6. an unintentional gap left on a plated, coated, or painted surface.
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adjective
  1. of or relating to a festival; festive; joyous: a holiday mood.
  2. suitable for a holiday: holiday attire.
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verb (used without object)
  1. Chiefly British. to vacation: to holiday at the seaside.
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Origin of holiday

before 950; Middle English; Old English hāligdæg. See holy, day
Related formspre·hol·i·day, adjective

Synonyms

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2. vacation, break.

Holiday

[hol-i-dey]
noun
  1. BillieLady Day, 1915–59, U.S. jazz singer.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for holiday

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • They would have a holiday together, and then they would say good-bye.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • The office had been closed, owing to a death, and Palmer was in possession of a holiday.

    K

    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Won't your Professor give you a holiday from—is it microbes you study?

  • It makes a holiday in Colchis whenever such a thing happens.

    Tanglewood Tales

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

  • It was holiday for the horses of the Sun, and away they went.

    Old Greek Folk Stories Told Anew

    Josephine Preston Peabody


British Dictionary definitions for holiday

holiday

noun
  1. (often plural) mainly British
    1. a period in which a break is taken from work or studies for rest, travel, or recreationUS and Canadian word: vacation
    2. (as modifier)a holiday mood
  2. a day on which work is suspended by law or custom, such as a religious festival, bank holiday, etcRelated adjective: ferial
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verb
  1. (intr) mainly British to spend a holiday
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Word Origin

Old English hāligdæg, literally: holy day

Holiday

noun
  1. Billie. real name Eleanora Fagan; known as Lady Day. 1915–59, US jazz singer
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for holiday

n.

1500s, earlier haliday (c.1200), from Old English haligdæg "holy day; Sabbath," from halig "holy" (see holy) + dæg "day" (see day); in 14c. meaning both "religious festival" and "day of recreation," but pronunciation and sense diverged 16c. As a verb meaning "to pass the holidays" by 1869.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with holiday

holiday

see busman's holiday.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.